New Delhi: To curb the menace of mobile phone thievery, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is ready with technology to enable detection of lost or stolen mobile phones that are operating in the country. The service is expected to be launched in August.

“The telecom department will approach the minister for its launch after the Parliament session,” a Department of Telecom official said, adding that the technology would make the detection of stolen mobile phones possible even if the SIM card is removed or unique code IMEI number is changed.

While details on the working of the new technology are not known, it is expected that the tracking system would detect phone via the 15-digit IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number.

It will, however, help authorities to ensure that the phone is made nonfunctional to prevent the leakage of any personal information or it being used for unlawful activities.

At present, SIM cards are removed or the IMEI number is changed by counterfeiters to use a lost/stolen phone without getting detected. Independent apps developers have developed apps to locate phones, but they are not full proof.

DoT had assigned the mobile phone tracking project “Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)” to Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) in July 2017 with an allocation of Rs 15 crore.

What is IMEI?

IMEI number - a unique 15-digit serial number of mobile devices - is allocated by global industry body GSMA and bodies authorised by it.
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