DoT Reportedly Working to Implement Stricter Rules for Tracing Lost Mobile Phones

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is reportedly looking to implement stricter rules to track a lost cell phone in the country. A report from PTI states that DoT is “working on rules to make tampering of IMEI number — a unique 15-digit serial number of mobile devices — a punishable offence with up to three years of imprisonment.”


With this move, the loss issues of cell phones in the country will be reduced. “The move will help curb issues pertaining to fake IMEI numbers and also ease tracking of lost mobile phones,” cites the report.

Speaking with the Press Trust of India (PTI), a government official said “It is difficult to track mobile phones because of duplicate IMEI numbers. The DoT is working on rules to make tampering of IMEI numbers a punishable offence under Indian Telegraph Act.”

As everyone might be unaware, the International Mobile Equipment Identity Number (IMEI) helps the security agencies in tracking mobile phones when they lost by tracking the location whenever a call made from that lost phone.

The DoT has barred telecom operators from providing service to any mobile phone with fake IMEI number, but the operators face problem in identifying handsets with duplicate IMEI number, quoted the official to PTI.

For example, the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell of the DoT recently found that around 18,000 handsets were using the same IMEI number.

It’s also said that the proposed rules are being “farmed in a combination of section 7 and section 25 of the Indian Telegraph Act. Also, Section 7 gives DoT power to make rules for the conduct of telecom or telegraph services and section 25 deals with damaging of the telegraph line, machines, and related equipment.”

“The rules will be notified in official gazette once finalised,” the officer concluded.

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7 Comments on "DoT Reportedly Working to Implement Stricter Rules for Tracing Lost Mobile Phones"


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June 27, 2017 6:05 pm 6:05 PM

Handling imei is working with shit. There are steps in process for Oems to kill the lost phone by triggering kill switch hardware inside remotely….so imei don’t matter. So Lost phone will be a dead phone. none buys them, so no theft….

June 27, 2017 3:03 pm 3:03 PM

First step would be to punish mobile phone manufacturers who make it easy to replace IMEI numbers via programming EPROM.
If mobile phone manufacturers start taking phone security seriously, this issue of IMEI changing won’t even exist. But Indians love superficial solutions like bandaid without going to the root of the problem.

Abishek Naagendra
June 26, 2017 11:23 pm 11:23 PM

I think I’ll agree with Sudhakar in this matter. It’s a joke. People have the faintest of interest in tracing mobiles. They maybe the best in solving crime cases. But, they don’t give a damn to mobile thefts. They don’t even put their efforts into it. They just say that whoever stole the phone would’ve changed the IMEI number already. Even when the case is registered within minutes of the theft.

Girish Gowda
June 27, 2017 12:49 am 12:49 AM

True. I lost my 16K mobile in my first year of college and the police said they would have changed the IMEI number already when I went to give complaint within a day. Never saw my lovely mobile again.

June 27, 2017 5:58 pm 5:58 PM

Not all phones imei can be changed easily. Police don’t want public to know that they can trace lost phone up to 100 meters.,also to avoid messup with theft complaints.

This low profile helps them in crimes with criminal theft cases.. They also have call records of each and every call is recorded and stored.

Shahin Mb
June 27, 2017 11:35 am 11:35 AM

Claim that you have valuable data in that cell and introduce like that. Then they will forward the complaint to commisoner office to register that IMEI.