Tanzania government to counter mobile phone crime

Tanzania government to counter mobile phone crime Mobile phone theft is a growing problem in Tanzania, with more than 2000 handsets stolen annually. (Image source: Yenkassa/Flickr) Tanzania has employed Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) technology in an attempt to reduce mobile phone theft in East Africa

CEIR is a database of the IMEI numbers of blacklisted handsets, which enables network providers to block stolen phones.

Speaking to the National Assembly last week, deputy communication minister January Makamba explained, “The equipment is highly sophisticated, it can track conversations and switch off a mobile phone without the knowledge of the users.”

The minister was responding to a question from Igalula legislator Athumani Mfutakamba, who asked what measures the government was taking to combat the misuse of mobile devices as mobile phone theft has been a persistent problem in the East African nation in recent years. Figures from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) have shown more than 2,000 handsets have been reported stolen annually.

The increase in crime has gone hand-in-hand with an exponential rise in the use of technology in Tanzania, especially television, radio and mobile phones.

Makamba said that CEIR would come into use after mobile companies and network providers had purchased and installed the necessary equipment.

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