NAIROBI, Kenya May 19 – Kenyans will now be able to identify whether a phone is genuine or counterfeit via a two-step process under a new service unveiled by the Communications Authority.
Acting Director-General, Mercy Wanjau, through a notice, said the verification service will be free of charge and is meant to boost the fight against counterfeit devices in the country.
“In furtherance of its consumer protection mandate, the Authority has set up a Mobile Messaging Service to aid users in ascertaining whether the mobile phone handsets they own or are about to purchase are genuine,” Wanjau said.
Under the first process, consumers will dial *#06# on their mobile phone in order to get the International Mobile Equipment Identifier number, commonly known as IMEI.
The user will thereafter send the IMEI number as an SMS text message to short code 1555 in order to receive the details of the mobile phone including the make and model.
The response from the Authority will display the details of the mobile phone which should enable the user to identify whether it matches the phone at hand.
‘You will receive an SMS response from the Authority displaying details of the mobile phone, including make and model. If the details displayed do not match, then the mobile phone used to send the SMS or intended to be purchased is not genuine,” CA instructed.
Wanjau has advised members of the public to use the service in detecting counterfeit devices which she said posed a huge threat to personal and national security in addition to facilitating poor quality of service.
“Members of the public are advised that counterfeit mobile phone devices provide poor quality of service and experience, and pose a major threat to personal health and national security.Such cases should be reported to the Authority,” Wanjau further advised.