backtop


Print 15 comment(s) - last by rsmech.. on Apr 11 at 12:25 PM


  (Source: technobuffalo.com)
The shared database will roll out in about six months in the United States, then expand around the globe in about 18 months

The United States' largest wireless carriers have agreed to work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to build a database for stolen cell phones.

The central database aims to reduce cell phone theft by tracking phones that are either lost or stolen using unique IDs for each, then cutting the voice and data services to these phones. This will make it difficult for thieves to sell the devices off to a resale shop because re-using the phone would be challenging.

The nation's four largest carriers, including Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp., and T-Mobile USA, have all agreed to come together and build the database. It will be the carriers' jobs to create and maintain the database themselves, which will place individual unique IDs on each cell phone sold, putting these devices in the central database. Together, these four carriers account for 90 percent of U.S. subscribers.

The need for such a database is growing as the mobile gadget market grows with new products like iPhones, iPads and Android-powered devices. In New York alone last year, 81 percent of electronics theft within the first 10 months of 2011 involved cell phones. In Washington D.C., mobile device robberies increased 54 percent from 2007 to 2011.

"New technologies create new risks," said Julius Genachowski, chairman of the FCC. "We wanted to find a way to reduce the value of stolen smartphones."

Cell phones already have a form of stolen-phone databases, but it's problematic because the carriers use different networks. For instance, Verizon and Sprint use the CDMA network, which places an electronic serial number on the devices and they cannot be reactivated once stolen. On the other hand, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, which places a tiny SIM card in each device. However, these SIM cards can easily be removed, making GSM devices much more lucrative to thieves.

The new central database will make one large stolen phone database for all four carriers, and offer a more substantial system for GSM phones. Carriers will just have to make sure devices used with each of the carriers are compatible with the new database and not just the SIM card.

However, not all devices will make it into the new network. Wi-Fi only tablets, for instance, will not be covered because they are not connected to one of the carriers' networks.

The shared database will roll out in about six months in the United States, then expand around the globe in about 18 months.

Sources: Reuters, The Wall Street Journal



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

correct me if im wrong...
By kattanna on 4/10/2012 9:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
but doesnt the rest of the world already have something like this in place, and we are just now starting to play catch up?




RE: correct me if im wrong...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/10/2012 9:50:36 AM , Rating: 2
As usual, we play catchup


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By mcnabney on 4/10/2012 10:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
This actually won't change anything with the exception of stolen AT&T phones going to T-Mobile.

Outside of that specific fencing route most stolen phones are activated on Cricket or MetroPCS. Those small carriers gain a huge chunk of their business on stolen phones. Don't expect them to ever change unless a law is passed.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By Close04 on 4/10/2012 12:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately not all the rest of the world has it. In EU most countries don't have such a mechanism. UK is one major exception but I think that's it.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/10/12, Rating: 0
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/10/2012 10:10:49 AM , Rating: 2
You've never had your purse stolen? ;)

I'd imagine that a lot of phones get left in taxis (falling out of your pocket). Accidents happen. Hell, I've had my phone fall out of my pocket in my own car and slide between the center console and I didn't realize it until a few hours later.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By Omega215D on 4/10/2012 10:24:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hearing from people I know from various countries, mobile theft is a large problem everywhere. It's the usual snatch and run or plain mugging. People still grab purses you know.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By BillyBatson on 4/10/2012 12:14:46 PM , Rating: 1
You think someone having their phone stolen is irresponsible? What a narrow view you have. Shit happens. There are a lot of people out there just trying to steal phones, from bars, restaurants, the beach, anywhere and they observe you for that 1 moment you set it down and look away.
What if they have insurance are they still irresponsible?
I really hope someone takes your stuff then maybe you will call yourself irresponsible.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/10/2012 12:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
No, I'm not calling people who are mugged "irresponsible" you reading challenged troll. A lot of this is being called theft when it's really people being very careless like leaving their phone out in public, going to the bathroom or whatever and leaving the phone on the table, leaving the phone in plain view in an unlocked car etc etc.

Americans are too trusting in general. We have things fairly good here and most of us get a false sense of security. We ignore warning signs that someone is casing us, we aren't always aware of our surroundings or when we're placing ourselves in potential danger. Sometimes we're just plain stupid, like leaving our car while it sits running with the keys in the ignition in public etc etc.

quote:
I really hope someone takes your stuff then maybe you will call yourself irresponsible.


Uhh they have. Why do you think I'm so careful now? I grew up in New Orleans, need I say more?

I'm not saying theft isn't a problem. I'm saying a lot of it is preventable.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By maven81 on 4/10/2012 1:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
"Americans are too trusting in general. We have things fairly good here and most of us get a false sense of security."

Riiiight... the people that put "trespassers will be shot" signs in their yard are too trusting.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/10/2012 1:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes clearly those make up a large majority of our population :)


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By BillyBatson on 4/10/2012 5:43:34 PM , Rating: 1
You're more of a troll here on dailytech than anyone else I've seen.
You said irresponsible, you never mentioned mugging, I read it correctly as 2 others pointed out the same fact. Putting your phone down and having it taken doesn't make you irresponsible. It's also like saying someone is irresponsible because they parked their car on the street and had it stolen because they didn't sit at the window and watch it the entire time. It's a phone it's not supposed to be glued to your hand or ear it's perfectly normal to SET IT DOWN! Are some people forget thy put it down and walk away but we do that with a lot of things, keys, wallets, purses, hell a pack of cigs.
You just think you are ether better than everyone else and always correct. Like I said before, SHIT HAPPENS!
Don't think it's the last time shots happened to you just because you feel you are more "responsible" now.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By fic2 on 4/10/2012 9:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
News station here (Denver) last night was saying that police are reporting more theft of cell phones by people who ask to borrow your phone. Most people don't think twice about letting a stranger borrow their phone for a quick phone call (reporter was able to borrow 10/10 times). Once the person "borrows" it they just run. A woman they talked to said that a friend of hers had it happen in the park a couple of weeks ago.


RE: correct me if im wrong...
By Omega215D on 4/10/2012 10:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
not quite. I was reading phonearena and posters mentioned India needs one and probably more countries ( the article was in its infancy so more people most likely chimed in).


More control to make you feel safer.
By rsmech on 4/11/2012 12:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
sounds like bullistics for phones. why is everyone so eager to be tracked? Individual responsibility traded to gov't responsibility. You think these unique id's will be used for just lost phones? I have nothing to hide but I also have nothing to give. It's called privacy and nobody cares anymore.




"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki