UNBS readies self in fight against fake mobile phones
Posted Thursday, January 17 2013 at 10:26
Switch off. Mid last year, UCC announced that it would switch off and prevent entry of fake phones into the Ugandan market.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has said it is closely working with the Uganda Communications Commission to ensure that the country is freed of the growing number of fake and counterfeit mobile headsets.
Speaking on the sideline of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 26000 Social Responsibility Standard training workshop in Kampala on Monday, Mr Ben Manyindo, the UNBS executive director, said that even if UCC is the lead agency in the fight against counterfeit phones, its role is limited to those already on the market while UNBS is tasked with ensuring that new fake phones don’t find their way into the country.
“Even if we are not the lead agency in the fight against fake phones, we have a working relationship with UCC to implement this project. Our role is to detect fake phones at the different entry points and stopping them from coming on to our market. This is something we are committed to do,” said Mr Manyindo.
He added: “As we do this, we believe UCC will run faster and come up with strong measures to detect fake phones and also have mitigation measures that will stop people from bypassing the systems and unblock the already blocked phones.”
According to the latest UCC timeline on counterfeit phones, blocking of fake phones will start on January 31 with denying network access to new fake phones and switching off of all counterfeit phones already in use at the start of July 1.
Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, recently said that unless we are over ridden by public interest thus the need for more discussions, all counterfeit mobile phones would be disconnected by July 1.
Blocking of fake phones is expected to affect millions, mainly low income earners who are the biggest market for such phones considering their low prices.
Latest statistics indicate that their about 15 million active mobile phone subscribers on the market and about 17 million sold sim-cards altogether.
In East Africa Kenya is the only country that has implemented the switch off of fake mobile phones with about three million subscribers affected.
Tanzania also recently announced that it would as well make it impossible for fake mobile phones to access any service provider’s network.