In line with switching off fake phones, CCK has launched a campaign dubbed pata ukweli wa mtambo (Get the truth about the gadget), an awareness campaign that is aimed at educating Kenyans on how to check if a phone is genuine or counterfeit.
Last week, a mobile phone hawker found his way to our office. That was a few hours after we had put up an article about CCK switching off fake mobile phones within the next three months. Among his many shiny possessions was a ‘Nokia N8’ and an ‘iPhone 4S’ each going for KES 9,000; even the devil these days wears fake Prada. There is no way a genuine make of these phones would have gone for such an amount. He was even willing to sell it for a lesser amount, and we took him for a ride, trying to see how low he can go with his shiny iPhane and Nokla.These phones will end up or might have already ended up in the hands of an unlucky consumer, and in three months, this consumer will be disconnected.
Before you get to a point of checking if a phone is counterfeit or not, CCK advises that you:
- Identify the features of the mobile phone that you would like.
- Research and shop around for the mobile phone(s) that interests you. Keep in mind the desired manufacturer, model, features, appearance, color, software, availability of manufacturer’s warranty, availability of the phone in the market and price. This information can be obtained from the manufacture’s website.
- Determine if the phone has been type approved by the Communications Commission of Kenya (www.cck.go.ke)
- Purchase mobile phone from a licensed vendor. Insist on seeing the CCK registration certificate of the vendor.
With this in mind, it is important for one to check if the handset is genuine. This is easily achievable through these few steps
- Dial *#06# to establish your handset’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. In some phones, the IMEI is usually printed inside the handset below the battery.
- Copy the 15-digit number displayed on your screen and SMS it to 1555.
- If the IMEI is found in the GSMA database, you will receive a confirmation message showing the brand name and model number, but if the number is not in the database, the phone is counterfeit.
- As a rule, the IMEI of genuine handsets does not contain repetitive numbers, alphanumerical, decimals, fractions or letters.