The Communications Commission of Kenya has announced August as the date for shutting down of fake mobile phones in the country after postponing the exercise three times. Now it seems sealed because the regulator has found a database provider that will give information that will assist in tracking and eliminating the said gadgets from the network, which will in effect render them unusable again to make calls and send text messages.
The question is, do you know whether or not the phone you use is a genuine one or fake one? Most of the generic gadgets are usually designed in such a clever manner that one will not easily establish whether or not they were fake. Most of these phones originate from China hence the street name ‘China Phones’.
A fake NOKIA 6300 for instance looks exactly like the original, with the same size, interface and design. Functionality and price is what distinguishes the two gadgets. The original phone retails for between Shs 10, 500 and Shs 13,000 while the fake version retails for Shs 4,000 on Nairobi’s Luthuli Avenue phone shops.
Many Kenyans are going to be affected not because they chose to buy the fake phones but because they were subjected to the nightmare by circumstances. Some of these circumstances include the fact that the mobile phone became an inevitable part of Kenyan’s lives in communication and mostly money transfer.
The mobile phone, before introduction of the fake ones into the market was an unaffordable affair with most gadgets priced at around Shs 10,000. The fake ones penetrated the mobile market selling at an average of Shs 3,000 which was quite affordable for most Kenyans.
Owning a mobile phone with internet, bluetooth, wi-fi and other loadings would cost not less than Shs 15,000 in 2006. The “China Phones” came loaded with all possible accessories and at unbelievably pocket friendly prices forcing the prices of the original phones to come down, benefiting the consumer.
CCK has however announced that it will embark on a campaign to help people know how to identify genuine and fake fake phones to prepare them for the blacking out event. The campaigns are going to run from May through July in preparation for the shut down scheduled for August.