Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday launched a web portal for reporting of stolen mobile phones. The new portal will also help one in tracing back the lost phones. The pilot project has been launched in Maharashtra in collaboration with BSNL.
The government has been working on a project Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) that connects to the database of IMEIs of all the mobile operators. IMEI is the 15-digit unique number that identifies mobile devices. The CEIR will act as a central system for all telcos to share blacklisted mobile devices so that such phones will not work in another network even if the SIM card in the handset is changed. This would effectively make the phone redundant and curtail the use of counterfeit mobile devices.
A formal complaint can be made to the Department of Telecommunication after filing an FIR. The DoT has listed helpline number 14422 for such complaints.
Both single and double SIM mobile phones are programmed with either one or two IMEI numbers. Miscreants reprogram the IMEI number and clone it, causing multiple handsets with same IMEI number. There are many cases of duplicated IMEI handsets in the network.
“The CEIR system has been undertaken by the DoT for addressing security, theft and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets,” DoT said in a statement.
The CEIR database will contain the information of all the devices that are registered with mobile operators. It will categorise and record the IMEI status accordingly to differentiate between genuine and cloned device.
The CEIR will have access to GSMA’s global IMEI database, allowing it to identify counterfeit IMEI devices from the global body’s huge database. This would make way for international cooperation in matters of mobile theft.
India has over 120 crore wireless subscribers with the telecom sector dominated by major players like Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and BSNL.