Telecommunications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will inaugurate a web portal that may help you have a better chance at finding your lost mobile phone. Under the overwatch of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) will be launched later today in Maharashtra, bringing to the fore a project that was started two years ago. Beginning with its pilot project in Maharashtra, users will likely have a better chance at retrieving lost mobile phones — a seemingly regular occurrence that leaves little room of retrieving the devices.
CEIR will maintain a database of IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers in its register, with the ultimate aim to cover as much of the billion-odd mobile devices that are present in India. The data from this database will work in multiple ways, including IMEI tracking of lost devices and identifying counterfeit products sold in the grey markets. For the latter, the CEIR will have access to the GSM Association's global IMEI database, which will help the DoT raise conflicting IMEI numbers in order to identify counterfeit devices.
In case of mobile phone theft, users can make use of the portal by dialling the DoT helpline 14422, after filing a First Information Report (FIR) for the same. Upon receiving the requisite details, the DoT will tally the reported IMEI number, and subsequently blacklist it against the database. This will lead to the remote blocking of the concerned device, which would be prevented from accessing any network connectivity in future, hence making it completely useless. Furthermore, telecom operators in India will also work closely with this list, and block any blacklisted IMEI from accessing their operator's network.
With the service piloting in Maharashtra, it will be interesting to see when it rolls out to the rest of India. The service is being introduced today, and if you wish to gather more details and read the full lowdown of CEIR's premise as declared by the DoT on July 3, 2017, click here.