Tanzania switches off 630,000 phones

Tanzania's counterfeit mobile phone switch-off has resulted in 630,000 units being disabled to date, say local media reports.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) started blocking phones with invalid International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers on June 16, and it has been estimated that once complete around 1.2m phones will be disconnected.

Around 3 per cent of all mobile phones in the country have fake IMEIs, according to a BBC report. Recent figures from the TCRA shows that there are around 39.5m mobile phone subscribers out of a total population of 49m people.

The Tanzanian government says that disabling counterfeit phones will help protect consumers' health as fake phones may not meet safety standards, and also assist efforts to interrupt criminal and extremist organisations.

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