INDIA18,000 handsets with same IMEI


India’s telecoms regulator, the TRAI is seeking a ban on the import of mobile phones that are not certified by the GSMA and TIA trade bodies.

The rules being proposed would require every handset to contain a unique IMEI, and follows on from previous rules banning the sale of handsets without an IMEI at all.

“TRAI will soon write to the Commerce Ministry to ban such phones. Import of only those cell phones should be allowed which are certified by GSMA and TIA authorised bodies for GSM and CDMA handsets respectively,” an official told the PTI.

The rules are being proposed as a measure to improve national security. Tracing mobile phone serial numbers is a key tool used by investigators following terrorist attacks in the country.

However, it was claimed that during recent tests, over 18,000 handsets were found to be using the same IMEI, rendering tracing handsets by serial number impossible.

“The idea is to ask importers of handsets to provide certificate issued by GSMA or TIA authorised body for entry of his consignment in the country,” the official added.

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