In order to check the sale of illegally procured mobile phones in Nepal, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) will soon introduce a system under which the SIM cards of telecom companies will not work in unregistered mobile devices, writes the The Himalayan Times.
In general, any mobile phone with its IMEI unregistered at NTA will not accept any SIM cards once the system has been implemented.
“The authority will be appointing third party to develop the system to render inoperable unregistered handsets soon”, said Min Prasad Aryal, the spokesperson for NTA.
He added that the third party firm would connect its system to the network of all telecom companies and make SIM cards in unregistered handsets dysfunctional.
“We’ll be submitting guideline to enforce the system to the Cabinet soon,” said Aryal.
He also said that the importers and the traders of mobile phones in the country had been notified of NTA’s initiative to make SIM cards inoperable in unregistered sets.
NTA had made registration of new mobile phones mandatory for domestic mobile dealers and individual importers from April 13, 2016, to check smuggling of mobile phones. NTA had announced that unregistered mobile phones would become dysfunctional from April 1, 2017. However, NTA deferred the deadline since its implementation could have affected a large number of mobile phone users.
IMEI numbers of almost 15 million mobile phones have been registered at NTA offices since the announcement.
NTA officials claimed that the flow of illegal mobile phones in the domestic market has come down significantly since the announcement. However, they still doubt that around 10 percent of mobile phones available in the market were brought in through illegal channels.