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I remember having a hard time running around telecom offices to get a new SIM for the old number after my phone was snatched. Although I got the number back, it did not safeguard my old SIM against illegal use. Luckily, nothing bad had happened. So, it’s great to see the government coming up with an initiative to block, trace, and possibly recover stolen/lost mobile phones in India.    

The Department of Telecommunication is launching a portal to help block and trace stolen mobile phones. Mumbai saw the genesis of this operation before Delhi. Till the end of 2020, hopefully, the entire country will receive the coverage of this portal, which can be accessed by visiting www.ceir.gov.in.    

Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) has provided a platform for such a project to be developed. Apart from mobile security against theft, CEIR will look into reprogramming of these palm-top machines.  

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad explained how to use the portal during the launch, "Delhi telecom subscribers whose phones get stolen or those who lose their phones can log into the web portal from today. On the portal, they can register their complaint along with a copy of the police complaint and their own ID proof. Based on this, the lost mobile will be blocked.” 

The minister added that if someone attempts to use the stolen/lost phone, the connected tower signal can be traced to pinpoint the location of the phone. The centralized nature of the CEIR database allows operators to block the stolen/lost device across the country despite the phone being serviced by another operator. 

All of the above is however, limited to the usage of the phone. If the phone is not used, then it cannot be traced, save blocking. One thing is for sure, this initiative will radically diminish phone snatching incidents.  

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