Tanzania presses on with fake phone shut-off

Tanzania has said it will not extend the deadline for disabling counterfeit cell phones from the current date of June 16.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has confirmed the mass switch-off of phones with invalid International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers - first unveiled in March - will proceed as planned.

Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Professor Makame Mbarawa made the statement at a press conference in Dar es Salaam to mark the launch of a 4G network by Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), according to a report in the Daily News.

The Minister was responding to a question relating to the recommendations for disposing de-activated phones after the deadline.

Tanzania is among a number of other countries in Africa - including Kenya, Uganda and Zambia - which have been taking steps to disconnect phones with fake IMEI numbers from networks. Consumers wishing to test the validity of their phone's IMEI may do so at:

The TCRA estimates that around 40 per cent of the 35m cell phones used in the country are counterfeit.

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