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December 1, 2009

20 m mobiles without IMEI blocked

     Gorakhpur: In a major step devised to combat terrorism and fraud in the country, around 20 million mobile phones without the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) was blocked on Tuesday as the deadline set by the Union Government came to an end. IMEI number is a 15-digit unique number, which appears on the operator's network whenever a call is made. It helps to track or block a mobile phone, if it is lost or the SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module) is changed. The decision to ban the phones was taken after intelligence agencies reported that militants had used mobile phones without IMEI number in launching attacks. The market is flooded with Chinese made handsets with a variety of features, which does not have IMEI, and consumers using these instruments said that they were facing a tough time. "My cell phone is not working due to lack of IMEI number and I am very disturbed. If this was the step that the Government was going to take for security reasons, then why were these phones allowed in the market," said Amit, a consumer. However, there are reports that these instruments may become operational with a new IMEI card issued by the authorities. "As per the information we have, the consumer whose cellular services have been blocked due to new provision of IMEI, they need not worry because new IMEI cards will be issued (by the authorities) for a reasonable price of Rs. 150 to 200," said Dinesh Modi, dealer of cell phones.
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