In Brief: Brits to block stolen cell phones faster

July 28, 2006

British wireless companies will move faster to deny network access to wireless phones reported stolen.

Friday's announcement is aimed both at phones that are indeed stolen and those reported stolen by their owners for the purpose of making fraudulent insurance claims.

The goal of the new campaign is to render stolen phones useless within 48 hours of being reported stolen, if not sooner. Phones will not only be blocked from their current network but from all other carrier systems as well by using the handsets' International Mobile Equipment Identity number.

The industry group Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum said the performance of the five carriers in shutting down stolen phones will be measured and published in an annual report.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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