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Mon 13 Apr 2009 09:00 AM

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India disconnects nearly 25 million Chinese handsets

Mobile operators ordered to discontinue services to Chinese-made phones as security fears mount

India disconnects nearly 25 million Chinese handsets
Mobile operators ordered to discontinue services to Chinese-made phones as security fears mount (Shutterstock)

Mobile phones that do not have the unique 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) code will no longer be supported by any telecom operator in India.

India’s Department of Telecom believes that these handsets, most of which are manufactured in China, pose a serious security threat and could be used to facilitate terrorist activities. Without an IMEI code, authorities are unable to identify which cellphone was used to place calls over GSM networks.

The Department had initially ordered mobile operators in the country to discontinue services to such handsets by March 31st but then agreed to extend that deadline to April 13th. Operators have been sending alerts to customers in recent days, informing them about the new directive and advising them to take necessary measures in order to stay connected.

The decision is expected to affect nearly 25 million handsets in the country which has a population of more than a billion people.

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hombil 11 years ago

Yet one more Chinese product going under the hammer! I believe cheap Chinese mobile phones are available in plenty in Dubai, which are bought/used by those who live in Dubai and those who are in transit for shopping. UAE government needs to look into this and ban sale of such mobiles, which do not have IMEI code.

Kaptain 11 years ago

Banning wouldn't stop such activity, why not introduce laws that would see these handsets bear the IMEI number. Simple.

Sharbeen Sarash 11 years ago

China has rules for which site to be blocked. they are so obsessed about that. But they couldn't care to look into such problems like mobile handset without IMEI? I mean come on Are they that least bothered about it? Anyways good that India is taking this step.

Amarnath Bantwal 11 years ago

Great step by the Indian authorities to knock off all the handset that might pose a security threat if used by miscreant. Cheers

ametis 11 years ago

I never cease to be amazed what you can get away with in the name of security.... But isnt this really to protect the market for the Branded names, after all how many branded mobiles are also manufactured in china, perhaps even on the production lines?

Arjun 11 years ago

Awesome Govt. of India. This is the way to control these idiotic Chinese products who have no head or tail. I totally support the decision though it's gonna hurt a lot of users in India but a strategic plan would weed out the wanted evils from the country and if technology can help it why not...Kudos to TRAI.

wils george 11 years ago

All the chineese goods are a threat to the country it imported in one way or the other.The chineese are least bothered on the quality,duarability,environmantal implications and they just wanted to make money. It is high time to boycott chineese goods.

Ron 11 years ago

everyone seems to be blaming the Chinese. I don't remember them putting a gun to the heads of the Indian Government. Stop blaming the Chinese, India made the purchase. Secondly the Chinese simply produce products based on the requirement of the country/manufacturer. Big guns such as Dell, Sony are all pretty much "made in China" these days, you get what you pay for i say. Stop trying to be patriotic via press articles!

Arjun 11 years ago

Dude Ron, You are absolutely right that there are a lot of people using these products. But hey do you know how hazardous these products are? I am talking because i have seen a lot of faulty products manufactured by the Chinese. Yes accpeted, the big names in the market are using the Chinese to produe their goods but check on their quality and material being used. You never know what kind of disease you will end up with these Chinese items all around you. Infact check on the pharma side most of the countries have banned Chinese pharma products from their exchange portfolio because many people died in other parts of the world. Even in India there is lot of piracy happening on the branded names but i can assure you that they dont use sub-standard material to manufacture them.