Telecom regulator Trai is likely to come out with its final recommendations on blocking lost and stolen mobiles by December to provide relief to people who fear the misuse of stored data and personal information in such events.
The initiative is a part of the regulator's efforts to crack down on the illegal handset market and discourage the rampant theft of handsets, a senior Trai official said.
"... It (recommendations) was likely to come by the end of this month, but we have come across some problems with regard to duplicate International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers in mobile handsets available in the market, which is difficult to track. We are discussing it internally... it will take time, maybe by the end of this year," a source in Trai said.
An IMEI is a unique serial number that identifies the handset. It is stored in the equipment identity register (EIR) database of the service provider.
Last year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had sought comments from stakeholders, including operators, to find ways to block lost or stolen mobile phones.
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. They, however, do not block the mobile phone.
Trai is revisiting the issue after an earlier attempt in 2004 made no headway because a number of telecom networks did not have the capability to track mobile handsets.
The regulator is already working to come out with the final guidelines on consumer complaints redressal, which are likely to be out in the next 3-4 weeks.
In July, Trai had came out with draft regulations under a consumer protection and redressal framework to protect the interest of users, which had stressed on timely redressal of problems.
Recently, Trai put an end on the irritating calls from telemarketers by coming out with strict regulations to stop pesky communications.