[telecom] Carriers Band to Fight Cellphone Theft

Carriers Band to Fight Cellphone Theft

By ROLFE WINKLER April 9, 2012

The nation's major wireless providers have agreed to a deal with the U.S. government to build a central database of stolen cellphones-part of a broad effort to tame an explosion of thefts nationwide.

The database, which the wireless companies will build and maintain, will be designed to track phones that are reported as lost or stolen and deny them voice and data service. The idea is to reduce crime by making it difficult or impossible to actually use a stolen device, reducing resale value.

Currently, Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. block phones that are reported stolen from being reactivated. AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA don't. All four have agreed to be part of the new database.


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Monty Solomon
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I wonder how many cellphones are accidently lost by the owner, and of those, how many are recovered.

Given their small size and frequent use, they seem to be an easy thing to leave behind.

On several occassions I've found lost cellphones. One was on the sidewalk and I turned it in to the store it was in front of. Another was left on a bench at a train station and I gave it to the ticket agent. On trains, conductors routinely find phones left behind by passengers. (With that, I wonder if the railroad makes any effort to find the owner of the phone, or just waits if the owner calls their lost & found).

I once left my cell phone in a store, but was able to go back and they had it.

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