It is being reported that as many as 25 million mobile phones could be cut off in India from next month - following a security clamp down on unregistered mobile phones following ongoing terrorist attacks in the country. According to the Mobile World subscriber tracker, the country ended September with around 315 million mobile phone subscribers.
The department of telecom (DoT) has instructed the mobile network operators to disconnect all handsets which do not have an IMEI number from January 6th 2009.
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“What the DoT is trying to do is to block all calls with zeroes as IMEI numbers or from blacklisted numbers. That adds extra load on networks. There are so many combinations of non-genuine IMEI numbers that it is extremely difficult to block them. Network upgradation is required to block all such calls and not all of our multiple equipment vendors are equipped to do it,” a senior official at a telco told the Economic Times newspaper.
There have been much commentary in local media over the past few months - largely blaming grey imports of handsets from China which are not set up with individualised IMEI numbers.
“In the interest of national security, all cellular mobile service providers in unified acess service licences (UASL) are hereby directed to make provisions for EIR so that calls without IMEI or with IMEI consisting of all zeroes are not processed or rejected,” DoT said in a letter to operators in October. The operators were given six months to set up the necessary systems - hence the deadline of 6th Jan 2009.
Source: Cellular News.