The government of India will now help you track your lost mobile phone. Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a new website where you can report stolen phones in Maharashtra on September 13. The government has selected Maharashtra as the place to conduct its pilot test to recover lost phones. The Department of Telecommunications announced that it began working on the technology to track lost phones in 2017. The DoT has developed the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) as a centralized database for billions of IMEIs belonging to mobile devices. Also Read - Department of Telecom puts Aadhaar-based face authentication on hold
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The 15-digit unique identification number, also known as International Mobile Equipment Identity, will be used to track lost devices. If you lose your phone then the first step would be to file a complaint with the DoT. In order to do so, you can contact the helpline number at 14422. Once a police complaint has been registered in this regard, DoT will identify your IMEI number and blacklist it. This will restrict the person in possession of your device from accessing any mobile network. Also Read - India’s telecom infrastructure likely to be 5G ready by 2020: Department of Telecommunications
The new announcement does not necessarily mean that you will get your lost phone back. However, it will render the device redundant, making it impossible for the thief to use it or sell it to a third-party. The DoT notes that even your cell phone operator will be able to blacklist your phone using the same IMEI number. The ministry notes that further details on how you can retrieve your lost phone will be available once the website goes live.
The CEIR will also be able to access the GSMA’s worldwide IMEI database and compare IMEI numbers to track down counterfeit devices. GSMA is the global trade body that represents mobile network operators globally. The co-operation between DoT and GSMA means that your lost phone could be tracked around the world. If anyone with access to stolen device tries to activate it, the telecom operator will identify the new user and alert police. According to LiveMint, this will allow to trace the lost or stolen device. BSNL, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd will help DoT track lost devices.