- Barely a day after being appointed, Mr Kilaba yesterday announced a significant reduction in number of fake mobile phones on users’ hands from 30 per cent in December last year to 13 per cent by last March as deadline set for locking out of communication substandard handsets approaches.
Dar es Salaam. Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa has appointed Eng James Kilaba as acting director general of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
Mr Kilaba, who as head of Information and Communication Technology at the authority, replaces Dr Aly Simba who was sacked by President John Magufuli earlier this week. He has over fifteen years’ experience in communication sector.
Barely a day after being appointed, Mr Kilaba yesterday announced a significant reduction in number of fake mobile phones on users’ hands from 30 per cent in December last year to 13 per cent by last March as deadline set for locking out of communication substandard handsets approaches.
According to 2014 PCWorld report that Tanzania has 35 million mobile subscribers and approximately 40 percent of these were using counterfeit phones.
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) reiterated yesterday that the 16th June 2016 deadline set would not change.
Acting director general of the TCRA, Eng James Kilaba said at a press conference in Dar es Salaam that the recorded drop in the number of the counterfeit phones was positive as the agency moves to switch them off.
He attributed the achievement to the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity system (IMEI) which the country launched in last December and ongoing awareness campaign among the public over importance of assessing their phones to establish whether they are original.
Yesterday, the TCRA also launched a song to be for encouraging phone users to abandon their fake handsets and opt genuine ones before being locked of communication.
Eng Kilaba however noted that there were dishonest traders who have been significantly reducing the prices of the counterfeit phones in a bid to lure the users.
He further said inadequate funds for conducting awareness campaign for reaching more citizens has been among the challenges.
He also warned the business people against changing the IMEI of the mobile devices, saying anyone found guilty of such crime is subjected to imprisonment of maximum of 10 years of fine of Sh30 million.