Import Of Mobiles Or Cell Phones In India With Fake IMEI Proposed To Be Banned

We have no dedicated cell phone laws in India or mobile phone laws in India though they are very much required. Similarly, we have no mobile cyber security in India and mobile connections and handsets are vulnerable to cyber attacks and malware infections.

We also do not have any electronic authentication policy of India and many e-surveillanceoriented projects like Aadhar project of India are managed in India without any parliamentary oversight and legislative framework. This is definitely violation of privacy rights of Indians. We must also have a national policy for mobile governance and e-authentication in India.

However, Indian government is least bothered to mange these crucial fields. Indian government becomes active in these fields only when its own interests are at stake. For instance, India is getting stricter regarding false IMEI numbers and norms. This is because India is finding it difficult to indulge in e-surveillance with false IMEI capable mobile sets.

Now media reports have suggested that the telecom regulator TRAI is planning to approach the Commerce and Industry Ministry to ban imports of mobile phones carrying unauthentic unique IMEI identification number, which helps authorities track users.
In order to archive this task, TRAI would soon write to the Commerce Ministry to ban such phones. It has been suggested that import of only those cell phones should be allowed which are certified by GSMA and TIA authorised bodies for GSM and CDMA handsets respectively.
Further, the Department of Telecom (Govt of India) (vide reference NO-20-40/2006/BS-III(PT)(VOL.I)/201 dated 3rd September 2009), has directed all cellular mobile service providers not to allow calls to be made from Mobile handsets with invalid IMEI number after 30th Nov 2009. However, during a recent test conducted in a telecom service area, government officials were surprised to see over 18,000 mobile handsets using same IMEI number.

Besides IMEI numbers, Indian government is also serious of regulating pre paid SIM cards so that they may not be misused by criminals and terrorists. However, Indian government must a take a holistic action in this regard and mere piecemeal actions, that also those serving its own interest, would not be in the larger interest of India.