TRAI seeks opinion on controlling mobile phone theft

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) The telecom regulator Tuesday sought the opinion of service providers on ways to block lost or stolen mobile phones, discourage handset theft and protect consumer interest.

‘The mobile phone theft is a serious concern to the consumers, specially because of valuable personal data stored in it. Presently, there is no mechanism in place to block a mobile phone in case if it is lost,’ the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in a statement.

TRAI has released a consultation paper on issues relating to blocking of IMEI for lost/stolen mobile handsets.

The service provider can only block the SIM card and issue a duplicate SIM in its place, it added.

Though TRAI did not release the exact number of mobile phones stolen or lost, the statement said the data was alarming.

TRAI said it has issued this consultation paper to revisit the issue which brings out various issues relating to blocking of mobile handset.

The stake-holders have been asked to offer their comments by Nov 30 and counter comments by Dec 7.

In the year 2004, TRAI had initiated a preliminary consultation process on the issue. However, at that time, a number of service providers were not having the capability to track the handset in their networks. Therefore, the matter was not proceeded further.

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