The Indian government is making it easier for citizens to track and block their lost or stolen mobile phones. The government is reportedly rolling out the pilot of a new tracking system dubbed as the Central Equipment Identity Registry (CEIR) this week in some telecom circles including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and North-Eastern region.
The pilot is being run by the Center for Department of Telematics (CDoT). It has even added features to check the use of cloned mobile phones across all telecom networks.
“The system is ready, and now it will be deployed across India in this quarter. This will enable people to block and track their lost mobile phones,” said Rajkumar Upadhyay, CEO, CDoT.
A portal named “Sanchar Saathi” is currently live and its About page mentions “Sanchar Saathi empowers citizens by allowing them to know the mobile connections issued in their name, get disconnected the connections not required by them, block/trace lost mobile phones and check genuineness of devices while buying a new/old mobile phone.”
How to block a mobile phone
An aggrieved person first needs to file a report with the police and get a duplicate SIM Card for the lost number from their telecom service provider as this number will be used for further communication. Then, they need to fill out the request registration form for blocking the IMEI of lost/stolen phone and after successful submission, the phone will be blocked in 24 hours.
How this system works
Mobile companies must disclose the IMEI number of mobile phones before their sale. Telecom service providers will have access to these IMEI numbers, and they can check the entry of unauthorised phones on their networks.
The IMEI number of the device and the mobile number linked to it can be used to track lost or stolen mobile phones. Once, an IMEI is blocked, it cannot be used on any network across India.
In addition to this, the CEIR portal even allows people to unblock their phones once they get them back. To unblock the phone, the aggrieved must report the found device to the police and fill out the unblock form in the portal.
Furthermore, buyers can check the validity of mobile devices even before buying them. To check the validity, dial *#06#, IMEI number will be shown on the mobile screen. If the status of the mobile is shown as black-listed, duplicate or already in use, buyers should avoid buying the mobile phone.
What are the cons
The blocking and unblocking process is lengthy and complicated. Even though the lost or stolen phone will get blocked in 24 hours but completing all the required formalities will take time.