The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is formulating regulations that could curb theft of mobile phones.
The telecom regulator is considering making it mandatory for operators to block a handset if a subscriber reports its theft, ensuring taht the phone will not work on any network.
TRAI issued a consultation paper on this issue on Tuesday.
At present, there is no mechanism to block a lost mobile phone; operators can at the most block the SIM card.
International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique serial number, which identifies a handset. The government has made it mandatory that all handsets available in the country sport an IMEI number, which can be stored in the equipment identity register (EIR) database of a service provider.
In case of a complaint, the operator can flag the IMEI number and block the handset in its own network. If the EIR is centralised, the handset can be blocked across networks.