The United Arab Emirates' telecoms regulator has called on the country's two operators to get tough on fake mobile phones, whose number is estimated at 70,000 in the Gulf state.
Etisalat and du have been asked to identify counterfeit handsets and cut services to them by the end of 2011 and pass on their numbers to the regulator, Mohamed al-Ghanim, director-general of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), told reporters.
"We told the operators ... the UAE wants to be clean of fakes and they have to take all necessary steps in detecting fakes," Ghanim said.
UAE law prohibit the use, sale, purchase or distribution of fake mobile phones and those violating the law will be given notices and fines and in some cases their retail licences withdrawn, he said.
Most of the fakes are illegally imported, said Ghanim, declining to name any country.
There are some 11 million mobile phones in use in the country, he added.