Kenyan mobile network operator Yu Mobile is lobbying for the extension of the SIM card registration deadline, claiming that the directive to have them switch off unregistered cards will affect its revenues.
Yu Mobile said that subscribers needed more time to register as the time allocated was not sufficient and would cause its revenue to slump.
“Customers will go through hardship and operators will lose revenue, though it is too early to estimate the magnitude,” a statement read. “We are seeking an extension of the timeline. That will be our position if the ministry calls us for a meeting today,
“Disconnection of lines is a tough decision. It shouldn’t be triggered immediately, especially for consumers who have been on networks for more than a year,” said chief executive Madhur Taneja.
Yu says that the deadline to have all numbers registered came during the festive season when many mobile subscribers travelled away from home and were therefore ill-prepared.
It is also reported that Telkom’s Orange Mobile has a similar fear of revenue loss if subscribers are denied more time to register their SIM cards. The company’s chief executive officer however said that the company would not be seeking an extension.
Some observers say it is ironic that Yu Mobile is seeking an extension when it has fewer subscribers than other network operators, which should have made it have the highest registration proportions compared with other Kenyan telcos.
Over 1.2 million SIM cards were switched off last week when the deadline elapsed, with Safaricom leading the pack by shutting out over 800,000 SIM-cards.
Yu Mobile switched off close to 290,000 SIM cards, as compared to 1.1 million unregistered subscribers as at Friday last week.