Import of Chinese cell phones without identity code banned

June 17th, 2009 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Import of Chinese mobile phones without unique identity code numbers has been banned, India’s commerce ministry announced.
“Import of mobile handsets without International Mobile Equipment Identify (IMEI) number or with all-zero IMEI is prohibited with immediate effect,” the Director General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.

IMEI - a unique 15-digit number - helps authorities trace the handset that has been used to make a call.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had earlier directed telephone operators to disconnect services to subscribers who own handsets that do not have the IMEI code as such phones posed a security threat.

However, since then, the Cellular Operators Association of India has developed a software for embedding genuine identity code - issued by the global association of telecom operators - on handsets without the requisite IMEI numbers.

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