US-based Telecordia seeks nod from Telecom Department to conduct user trials of technology

The Government is thinking of setting up a centralised registry with the identity number of each mobile device in the country. The Central Device Information Registry will enable security agencies to track devices based on the identity number. The proposal to set up the registry has been sent by US technology major Telecordia.

The device registry can help in tracking stolen mobile phones and preventing counterfeit or unauthorized mobile devices. Current mobile device tracking solutions, such as those involving traditional Equipment Identity Registers that tend to rely on static data, are not always able to significantly deter mobile theft .

A centralised registry maintains extensive and constantly updated information on handsets, including the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) for all networks, with cross-references to the national number portability database. As such, it helps operators provide more effective anti-theft services, such as immediate device blocking when a SIM card is replaced, and it enables powerful ‘fingerprinting’ and analytics capabilities.

Device registry data can be accessed by all mobile service providers within a country, as well as by law enforcement agencies.

Telecordia has approached the Department of Telecom to conduct trials of this technology. The company is already offering Mobile Number Portability services in the country through its subsidiary MNP Interconnect Telecom Solutions Indian Pvt Ltd. Senior DoT officials said that the proposal was under consideration as the company may be allowed to conduct trials as long it did not misuse the information gathered. However, they added that Telecordia may have to seek the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board before undertaking this new service.

DoT may invite Telecordia’s subsidiary to do a detailed presentation and then seek operators’ comments before giving the approval.

(This article was published on December 4, 2012)
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