Stealing of telephone handsets may soon become history. The telecom regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will soon come out with recommendations on blocking lost and stolen mobiles.
The regulator has floated a consultation paper on this issue and has received comments from various stakeholders.Once implemented, it is expected that this step will discourage the theft of handsets.
“Infrastructure similar to that for stopping pesky calls needs to be in place,” said a Trai official. “Trai will come out with recommendations on ways to block lost or theft mobile phones using International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number within a month.”
IMEI is a unique serial number that identifies the handset. It is stored in the equipment identity register (EIR) database of the service provider.
At present, there is no mechanism in place to block a mobile phone in case it is lost. The telecom service providers can only block the SIM card.
“Though there are chances that people will come out with some techniques to change the IMEI, theft of phones will stop drastically,” the official said.
Trai had attempted something similar in 2004, but number of telcos did not have the capability to track handsets.