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.