Database of stolen smartphones completed, say US carriers

28 Nov 2013

A massive database of smartphones stolen in the US and registered by carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint has been completed, according to wireless organisation CTIA.

Last year the CTIA, FCC and police chiefs from major cities across the US announced a four-step plan to help deter smartphone thefts.

CTIA said the participating wireless companies met the requirements within the time limit and the global, multi-carrier, common database for LTE smartphones was finalised and implemented in advance of the 30 November deadline.

“The matter of stolen devices is extremely important to the wireless providers, which is why they worked so hard over the last year to meet each deadline on time,” CTIA president and CEO Steve Largent said.

Stolen devices to be blacklisted

“As more countries and more carriers around the world participate in the 3G and 4G/LTE databases, criminals will have fewer outlets since these stolen phones would be blacklisted and could not be reactivated.

“Another important element to stopping stolen phones is consumers. To assist users, we offer a list of apps to download that will remotely erase, track and/or lock the stolen devices,” Largent said.

“We continue to believe that combating stolen cellphones will require a comprehensive effort.  We encourage consumers to use currently available apps and features that would remotely wipe, track and lock their devices in case they are lost or stolen, and our members are continuing to explore and offer new technologies,” Largent said.

Phone thief image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years