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Sat 31 Dec 2011 11:20 AM

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Telco du blocks nearly 40,000 fake mobile phones

A further 17,797 have also been identified and will be cut off as part of campaign

Telco du blocks nearly 40,000 fake mobile phones
Du said it is getting tough on fake phones in the UAE

UAE telco du has blocked services to almost 40,000 counterfeit mobile phones, following a crackdown on illegal handsets.

In accordance with a directive from the UAE regulator, du said in a statement last week it would block all unauthorised international mobile equipment identities (IMEI) from December 21 to January 19 next year.

“We are happy to report our satisfaction with the public’s positive reaction to our SMS campaigns that continued over the past weeks. We started the campaign with 57,338 identified false IMEI’s, (53,500 owned by individual consumers and 3,838 enterprise customers),” du said in a statement.

A further 17,797 identified devices with unauthorised IMEIs will be blocked as part of the operation, the statement added.

The move is in accordance with the directive from the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA), to protect the UAE’s consumers from the downfalls of using fake mobile handsets illegally in the UAE.

Du and rival Etisalat 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.

UAE law prohibits 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fake mobile phones and those violating the law will be given notices and fines and in some cases their retail licences withdrawn, the TRA said.

There are some 11 million mobile phones in use in the country, it added.

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