As its past midnight in India, the mobile phone users all over the country are afraid if their mobile will continue to work or not?
According to this post on Mobile Messaging 2, chinese mobile handset manufacturers have flooded indian market with 25 million handsets that do not have a unique IMEI. This means, the handset is absolutely anonymous and according to the Indian government, these anonymous handsets can be used by the terrorists or can be utilized in illegal activities.
Therefore the handsets should be blocked, i.e should not work on any network in India. 25 million is a dazzling large number and even if half of these sets are actually disabled, it will be a total chaos. It’s reported that here are 15 to 18 million users of such handsets in India. Once these handsets stop picking the mobile signal, some users will stop using a mobile till they have enough money to buy a new one and others will instantly buy a new phone. In both cases, phones with proper IMEI will see a rise in their sales in a couple of months to follow.
I’m sure there will be lots of these sets still in transit or in sales stores. All these shipments will become useless junk of plastic and circuitry. Businessmen owning these sets have to evaluate, should they sell them to another country where such restriction isn’t in place yet, or the cost of re-exporting is too high and its better to simply throw them away? In any case, its not a good news.
We have seen similar regulations being implemented in the region in the name of security improvements. For example in Pakistan, PTA has made it mandatory for every mobile-connection to be registered and associated with a person’s national ID number. This, no doubt, ensures legal use of cell-phone connections and discourage terrorists from using them or at least improving the traceability of calls during an investigation.
Its not only the use of mobile phones. Even efforts are being made to ensure traceability of users over the Internet again to reduce illegal and terrorist activities. Jehan ara’s post here talks exactly about that.
Pakistan is also a big market of such Chinese handsets that give you unmatched features in unbelievable cost. But a regulation like the one India is implementing, can kill the market here in Pakistan as well.
Last but not least, there always exists a subset of handsets whose IMEIs can be changed, erased or faked by a combination of hardware/software trick. At least I’ve not seen any such regulations that stop this kind of illegal activity or discourages it. Do post it in the comments area if you have seen it happening in the region. Its totally up to the handset manufacturers to make it as difficult as possible for the crackers.
And here is a small video clip that talks about the news we discussed above.
Note: If you are in India and carrying such a handset, do tell us if your phone is working or not.