Trai recommendations soon on blocking mobiles

Trai recommendations soon on blocking mobiles

New Delhi: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) may soon finalize recommendations on blocking lost and stolen mobiles to provide relief to people who fear misuse of the stored data and personal information in such events.

The initiative is part of the regulator’s efforts to curb the illegal handset market and discourage the rampant theft of handsets, Trai officials said here on Wednesday. The recommendations are expected to be out within a month, they said.

“There needs to be infrastructure in place similar to that for stopping pesky calls. 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," said a TRAI official.

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, 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 its earlier attempt in 2004 bore no result because a number of telecom networks did not have the capability to track mobile handsets.

Recently, Trai came out with 27 September as the deadline to stop telemarketing calls and SMSes in order to provide relief to customers.