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25 million Chinese handsets likely to get new lease of life

  1. #1
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    Default 25 million Chinese handsets likely to get new lease of life

    25 million Chinese handsets likely to get new lease of life

    Over 25 million mobile phone users who have Chinese handsets without an international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number won’t have to discard their phones.

    The industry has jointly developed a software which when uploaded to these handsets will provide the device with a unique number. This comes after a government directive asking all telcos to cut off mobile services to handsets that do not have an IMEI number by January 6, 2009. The government is likely to extend the deadline by another three months to March 31 even as some operators have sought time till July.

    IMEI is a unique 15-digit code that comes with every mobile and helps uniquely identify the handset. This number is reflected in the operator’s network whenever a call is made or received from any handset and therefore allows lawful interception of all calls. Mobile operators store these numbers in Equipment Identity Register (EIR) - so if a handset is stolen, and its owner can provide the IMEI number to his operator to ensure that all calls from this device is barred.

    In October, the DoT asked telcos to install EIR so that calls without IMEI or with IMEI consisting of all zeroes are not processed.This followed investigations by security agencies looking into the bomb blasts in several Indian cities this year which revealed that mobile phones used by terrorists did not bear valid IMEI numbers.

    Industry bodies representing Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Association of Unified Service Providers of India (AUSPI) — will formally approach the DoT this week seeking an extension, the representatives in these told ET. The industry will inform the DoT that customers who use these cheap Chinese handsets without IMEI numbers will not be able to afford a new handset. The industry therefore wants time to educate these customers to go in for a software update to get an unique identity number for their handsets.

    Customers will have to pay a small fee, maybe about Rs 100, for the software, but this is better than throwing away the handset.

    Telcos have also demanded that the government ban the import of handsets without IMEI numbers. They have asked the finance ministry to direct the customs authorities to ban the shipment of such handsets into the country: “If these handsets are illegal and pose a security threat, how can the government allow these products into India. The operators are not to be blamed if these cheap handsets are available in the market,” said a senior executive with a telco.

    Chinese handsets account for about 13.3%, or Rs 4,000 crore, of India’s total mobile market, which is about Rs 30,000 crore a year. Every month, about 16.8 lakh Chinese and locally-assembled handsets are sold in India. A GPRS-enabled Chinese handset costs about Rs 3,000, against at least Rs 5,000 for a similar branded phone.While most Chinese imports have IMEI numbers, it is only a small percent of the devices from the country that are illegal.
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    Silver Member prasannaganesh's Avatar
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    Good info. here is your repo.

  3. #3
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Telecom providers could help by the following:

    a) Run a scan on all connections and search for connections that do not associate with an IMEI number. Block services to such handsets till the owner gets the update done or replace the handset.

    b) If IMEI number can be updated by a software, duplicates can be created easily. Scan and block services on duplicates. Yes. Genuine people may suffer, but at they can rush to the nearest service center and get credentials verified - then services can be restarted.

    Not having IMEI number is a serious security threat to the country.
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    Chinese are goons and their product is junk.....

    ban those chinese mobile phone..they are junk....and a menace to the society

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