Government enacts sweeping regulations to ban stolen, counterfeit smartphones; details here

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From January 1, 2023, all mobile phone manufacturers are required to register the IMEI number of every mobile phone manufactured in India with India’s Counterfeit Device Restriction Portal.

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First published September 28, 2022 at 3:20 PM IST

The Indian government has taken a bold step to stop misuse of lost or stolen smartphones. Prior to the first sale of a newly launched mobile phone, all mobile phone manufacturers are required to register the IMEI number of every Indian-made device with the Indian Counterfeit Device Restriction Portal (https://icdr.ceir.gov.in) from January 1, 2023.

Previous reports have shown that countless smartphones and feature phones in India have incorrect or even duplicate IMEI numbers. Also, it is not difficult to get popular imitation cell phones in India; These products mainly come from China. The new regulation aims to ensure that every mobile phone sold in India has an authentic IMEI number that can be electronically monitored. The new process would help consumers lock their smartphone if they misplace or lose it, preventing unauthorized use. This is also meant to stop India’s illicit cell phone market.

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As a reminder, back in June 2020, Meerut Police found out that 13,500 Vivo smartphones had the same IMEI number. Additionally, this is not a one-off incident or specific to any brand. Other Chinese companies are also said to have experienced such incidents in the past. This restriction applies to all mobile phones, not just Indian-made ones, including premium iPhones and Samsung Galaxy models.

For the benefit of people who are uninformed, IMEI number is special and is used to monitor criminals. The IMEI number is hard coded making it easier for law enforcement to fight crime while the SIM card can be removed or destroyed.

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Always check for an IMEI number before buying a new or old phone or headset from someone. Any gadget without an IMEI number is fake, so avoid buying one. The IMEI number can be checked by simply dialing *#06# to get the information. There are two different IMEI numbers on dual SIM devices.

Last updated September 28, 2022 3:20 PM IST

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