By Anthony Aisi
Samsung is set to replace an estimated 3 Million counterfeit phones, while helping mop-up and recycle E-Waste.
An estimated 3 million mobile phone subscribers, holding counterfeit handsets, are set to enjoy an attractive replacement offer as Samsung Electronics East Africa, moves to mop up all counterfeit devices.
Ahead of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) cut-off date, set to switch off all counterfeit handsets on the 30th of September, 2012, Samsung Electronics is offering reprieve to all subscribers through a mop up campaign dubbed: Give up the Fake! that kicked off on friday
In the unique mop up campaign, Samsung is reaching out to subscribers to turn in their counterfeit handsets and in return get genuine Samsung mobile handsets with prices starting as low as Kshs 1,399 and with a two year warranty.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign, Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader Robert Ngeru confirmed that the firm’s sales promotion is geared to support the on-going CCK ‘pata ukweli wa mtambo’ campaign.
The devices that form part of the campaign include the Samsung Keystone (E1085) set to retail at kshs 1399 down from Kshs 1799. Also on offer in the Samsung
Give up the Fake! Campaign is the Samsung Nari DS (E2232) set to retail at KShs 3,399 down from Kshs 3,750 and the Samsung Ch@t222 now retailing at Kshs 4499 down from Kshs 5,499. The recently launched Samsung Chief Hero will also be on offer at Kshs 2,999 down from Kshs 3,199.
Mr Ngeru said “as part of this campaign, we have undertaken to replace the estimated 3million counterfeit handsets across major towns by replacing them with affordably priced Samsung handsets. In addition, we have retained a locally accredited E-Waste recycling company to manage the collection and ultimate disposal of all counterfeit handsets.”
According to CCK industry statistics, close to 3 million mobile phones in the Kenyan market are counterfeit, translating to about 10% of all the active mobile devices in the country. This has not only infringed on the manufacturer’s intellectual property rights, but has also denied the government revenue in form of tax. It also poses a health risk to the users since the phones do not meet the set global manufacturing safety standards.
In rolling out the Samsung Give up the Fake! Campaign, the firm has partnered with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Centre Limited (WEEE Centre) a local E-Waste recycling company, to manage the collection and ultimately the safe disposal of all counterfeit handsets.
The campaign will simultaneously roll out in 6 major towns; Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru and Thika, with respective municipal town halls acting as the collection centres.
Mobile phones contain a number of heavy metals which are toxic, such as cadmium, lead; beryllium and antimony which when not disposed of correctly pose a human health and environment hazard.
“We urge anyone with a counterfeit handset to drop off the handset at the collection centers. Counterfeit handsets do not follow global manufacturing safety standards and pose risks that affect health of users”, said Dr. Tom Musili, Director WEEE Centre.
According to the CCK, Counterfeit or fake phones are copies of popular brands and models made from sub-standard materials. They are usually not tested and certified for safety and are often made from sub-standard components by parties that are not the genuine brand owners. In some instances, the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) of counterfeit phones is either duplicated in many other phones or does not conform to the recognized GSMA structure. IMEI is a 15-digit number that is unique to each mobile handset.
The campaign dubbed Give up the Fake! will educate Kenyans on the risks associated with using counterfeit mobile phones and steps the consumers should take to establish if their mobile phones are genuine.
Speaking during the launch of the CCK ‘pata ukweli wa mtambo’ campaign last June, Ministry of Information and Communication, Permanent Secretary, Dr. Bitange Ndemo, said that it has become necessary for the government to ensure that all mobile phones are genuine to safeguard the health of consumers and also to promote confidence in our globally acclaimed mobile innovations.
“In this era of mobile banking, use of counterfeit devices, which are manufactured without due consideration to the recognized security standards, may expose our mobile money systems as well as the wider banking and financial system to unnecessary risks. The Government cannot allow this to happen and thus our decision to have all unregistered SIM cards and counterfeit handset mobile phones phased out by 30th September 2012,” said Dr. Ndemo.
“As the industry regulator, the CCK is mandated by law to protect consumers of communications services and in consultation with representatives from the four mobile operators, mobile phone manufacturers and relevant government ministries and agencies, we will continue to execute this mandate,” assured Mr. Francis Wangusi, Director General CCK.
In accordance with Regulation 24 of the Kenya Information and Communications (Importation, Type Approval and Distribution of Communications Equipment) Regulations 2010, requires all mobile phones to be type approved. Contravention of this statute attracts a fine not exceeding Kshs 300,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.