Have you ever been approached by a roadside stranger selling you a second hand mobile phone at an unbelievable discount? In all probability, it could well be a lost or stolen mobile handset detached from the SIM card of the aggrieved party.
While the subscriber of the mobile service could get his SIM card blocked to curb its misuse, there is little that can be done to make the use of handset redundant. Finally, the cell phone finds its way to illegal handsets market as there is no concrete mechanism to track stolen phones.
The least that a mobile user could do is track his stolen handset by its unique IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) code by using global positioning system (it has to be done by Telecom Operator on your behalf); but it is still not possible to avoid the misuse of data stored in such handsets by blocking it.
The 15-digit IMEI number of a mobile phone allows users to check information regarding manufacturer, model type and helps in tracking cell phones if it is lost. This unique number is stored in the equipment identity register database of the service provider.
In a bid to curtail rampant theft of handsets, telecom regulator TRAI has come out with a consultation paper that would allow blocking of IMEI of lost or stolen handsets to keep a check on illegal mobile handsets market. This safety initiative is likely to fructify by December if the recommendation turns into framework to protect consumer interests.
As a direct impact, this would bring down illegal market for mobile handsets as blocked IMEI number would leave these phones redundant for use and inoperative in nature. On a lighter note, once implemented this probably will affect security mobile app developers who have developed apps around helping users to track the lost / stolen mobile phones.