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India is in the process of developing its first-ever IMEI database, to keep a close eye on stolen mobile phones in the country, according to a report published by the Indian Express.
Called Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), the IMEI database once ready, Indian consumers will be able to inform the Department of Telecom(DoT) about their stolen phone via phone call following a police complaint. The Department of Telecom will then take necessary steps to block the IMEI of the stolen phone which in turn will block it from accessing the cellular networks.
The CIER will also have access to the GSMA’s global IMEI database to spot phones with fake IMEI numbers.
The CIER project came into existence with the purpose of putting an end to theft and cloning mobile phones. As per DoT, “A substantial number of counterfeit mobile phones are active in our mobile networks with fake IMEI numbers.”
The database will consists of three lists – white, grey and black, where phones with IMEI numbers in the whitelist means that it is a legitimate device and that it’s not under the watchlist. As you may have guessed it, the blacklist will consist of IMEI numbers linked to stolen phones. Phones in the greylist will function but it will be under DoT’s supervision.
Aside from the financial loss, DoT believes that theft of mobile phones is a threat to personal life and as well as India’s National security.