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Bid to stop use of lost mobile

New Delhi, Nov. 2: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has asked mobile service providers to work out a method to block services to stolen or lost handsets.

At present, there is no mechanism to block a mobile phone if it is lost or stolen and the new user changes the service provider.

“In case of a complaint regarding theft of a handset, the service provider can flag the IMEI number of the handset and can block it in its own network. If the equipment identity registers (EIRs) of service providers are shared through a centralised database, the mobile can be prevented from use in all networks,” Trai suggested in a consultation paper issued today.

EIR is a database with a service provider of the IMEI, or electronic serial numbers, of its subscribers’ handsets.

IMEI, or international mobile equipment identity, is a unique serial number that identifies a handset. IMEI can be found inside the handsets below the battery or by keying in *#06# in most GSM handsets.

Service providers and handset makers need to respond to the Trai suggestion by December.

At present, on registering a complaint of cellphone loss or theft, the service provider blocks the SIM card and provides a duplicate one

Though the service provider ensures that the connection is not misused, there is no way to block the handsets or track its use.

The regulator has also asked industry players to incorporate mobile tracker in all handsets.

A few handset makers such as Samsung have the tracker facility.

Under the tracker facility, every time a new SIM is inserted, two pre-selected numbers automatically receive a prompt informing the contact number of the new user.

This facility enables the customer to inform the police the contact number of the individual who is using the lost or stolen handset.

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