The Department of Telecom (DoT) is going to meet GSM Association to discuss the issue of mobile cloning next week. The report comes from an anonymous source who made a comment saying to Press Trust of India (PTI) as “A meeting with GSMA is scheduled for April 17 to discuss various issues. The DoT will take up mobile phone cloning issues with them.” According to the report, the meeting which is going to be held on April 17 will be a follow up to the statements which Telecom minister Manoj Sinha made during his time at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this year. The issues that the minister raised involved the cloning of unique identity numbers of mobile phones, IMEI and even SIMs.
The main centre of discussion with the GSMA will be the cloning of the 15-digit IMEI number which the mobile phone user is required to quote in case of losing the handset. This number is allocated to devices by the GSMA or the organisations authorised by it. Speaking about the SIM cloning issue besides the IMEI cloning, the anonymous source said “but it is not the only body that can help in resolving fake SIMs. The issue of fake SIMs will be taken up with other bodies separately.”
To counter the numerous problems which the department is facing regarding the cloning of IMEI and SIMs, the government is developing a system through C-DoT which will be Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR). This new facility will help the government in easily blocking all services on the phone even if the SIM card is removed and the IMEI is also changed. Besides assisting in stopping services after the handset is lost, this CEIR system will increase protection of consumer interest and will also ease legal interception by law enforcement authorities.
According to the Union budget 2018-19, Rs 15 crores have been allocated for setting up the CEIR and for getting it up and running. This new step is being done to put a hold on a number of counterfeit handsets and also to bring down thefts. As per the report by PTI, the source said DoT would seek GSMA’s help in the implementation of CEIR.
In the meeting which will include the discussions on IMEI and SIM cloning, DoT and GSMA are also expected to talk at length on the roadmap for capacity building, knowledge and global best practices sharing program.
Speaking about the working of the CEIR, the system is going to connect the IMEI database of all mobile operators. The combined database will then act as a central system for all network operators for sharing blacklisted mobile terminals, therefore, devices which are listed under a certain category won’t work in some other. This will prevent the misuse of the handset even when the SIM card is removed from it