Operators tackle phone theft

9 Feb 2004

A number of the world’s largest wireless operators have launched an initiative aimed at cracking down on mobile phone theft by organised criminal gangs. The new plan will render a handset stolen in one country useless in another, thus stemming the flow of stolen handsets into Africa, Asia and Europe. Led by the GSM Association, mobile phone IMEI numbers will be stored on an international register that will be accessed by all GSM operators. Under the same scheme handset manufacturers – including Nokia, NEC and SonyEricsson – are working towards the early introduction of new technology that will make it almost impossible for the unauthorised reprogramming of wireless phones.