- Technology to tackle phone theft, counterfeiting
The Federal Government has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to deploy the Device Management System (DMS) technology within the next three months.
This, government said, would help the country curtail the menace of mobile phone counterfeiting, discourage mobile phone theft and enhance national security.
While the telecom regulator had, about two years ago, announced plans to deploy the technology to tackle the issue of fake phones being sold in Nigeria, it has not been able to do so.
However, government, in the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, said this must now be done within three months.
According to the policy document, the implementation of this technology will also protect consumer interest, increase revenue generation for government, reduce rate of kidnapping, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices.
“The implementation of a Centralised Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) otherwise known as Device Management System (DMS) will serve as a repository for keeping records of all registered mobile phones’ International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and owners of such devices.
IMEIs that have been reported as either stolen or illegal will be shared through the DMS to all the operators and seevice providers,” government said in the policy document.
It added that the purpose of the implementation was to ensure that such devices do not work even if different SIM cards are inserted in those devices.
“DMS will also provide access to all operators to crosscheck the IMEIs and their status before allowing a device to become active on their network.
“Furthermore, registered mobile phone technicians will also be provided with an interface to check IMEIs and ensure it has not been reported as stolen or illegal before they render their technical services,” the government stated.
To achieve this, government said NCC would be responsible for the implementation and management of DMS to achieve the policy objectives.
“Accordingly, President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months,” the policy stated.
The objectives of implementing the DMS include to register and capture the IMEIs of all mobile phones and other smart devices on the DMS, which will serve as a repository for sharing data of stolen devices across all networks; to ensure all un-registered devices do not work in any of the networks in Nigeria; and to ensure every reported IMEIs for stolen and illegal mobile phones and other smart devices are blacklisted and shared with all operators across all networks.
Other objectives, according to the policy include to mitigate mobile phone theft and protect Nigerians from being attacked to snatch their mobile phones and other smart devices; to blacklist and render all stolen mobile phones and other smart devices valueless in the Nigerian mobile phones market; to ease the use of mobile phones and other smart devices in all public places without fear of being attacked by mobile phone snatchers; to facilitate the use of digital technology solutions to address key issues bothering Nigerians in the tele communication sector; and to facilitate the implementation of Device Management System in Nigeria in accordance with best global practice