Inter-carrier blocking starts September

The loss of mobile phones by employees will simply become an inconvenience rather than a huge cost burden as anti-theft technology makes the devices worthless to thieves.

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) chief executive Graham Chalker said Telstra has already blocked more than 45,000 lost and stolen mobile phones in the year since it introduced anti-theft technology across its GSM mobile network.

Chalker said a stolen mobile phone would be unusable on any GSM network in Australia once inter-carrier blocking became operative from mid-September.

He said the introduction of Commonwealth and state legislation prohibiting the modification of IMEIs (identification numbers) makes stolen phones a worthless commodity.

Telstra consumer and marketing group manager Greg Young said Telstra was the first carrier in Australia and one of the first in the world to introduce technology to block use of mobile phones reported as lost or stolen.

He said the number of handsets blocked has risen from 115 to 120 a day but there has been no noticeable change in the percentage reported stolen during the past 12 months.

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