Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 26 / corr Trend G.Veliyev /
Azerbaijan plans to establish a unified database of IMEI codes (unique code of mobile phones determined at manufacturing factory) and code testing system shortly.
The new order commits the relevant agencies to include to general IMEI register codes of hand-sets imported to Azerbaijani territory illegally. In the future sale of hand-sets with relevant IMEI codes will be banned.
Launch of the system in trial operation may take several months, as it requires appropriate equipment, software in addition to the existing. All information will be provided in a unified center, which will be created in one of the government departments
Initially, the database will register GSM phones. Possibility of recording devices operating in the CDMA standard will be reviewed in the future. It will be possible to check existence of ІМЕІ code in the so-called "white list" through the Internet.
After the formation of the database, IMEI check up will become an obligatory procedure while purcashing hand-sets. Furthermore, it will be possible to have an idea about the state of the mobile phone market (market volume, number of legal and illegal products, etc.).
Illegal import of hand-sets has gained serious scales worldwide. The Ministry of Communications and IT has developed a mechanism aimed at preventing contraband hand-sets to enter the mobile telephone market.
The new order will fight with several problems simultaneously in Azerbaijan. Firstly, with robbery. When the system works it will be almost unprofitable to rob mobile hand-sets. It is enough for operator to have reference from police to switch off the hand-set and it will be impossible to use it. There will be a 'black list', which is to include ІМЕІ-codes of robbed or lost hand-sets.
Secondly, with illegal import. The base will include codes of mobile hand sets delivered via border. Wile purchase it will be necessary to check the IMEI of the hand-set in register. Access to common database to check IMEI code will be carried out through SMS to short number of mobile operators, or public Internet resource.
Hardware and software that will turn off phones illegally imported to Azerbaijan will be connected to all phones when the legal framework on registration of the IMEI-code of mobile phones will come to power
There is less probability for switching off subscribers, who purchase hand-sets before the new legislation is applied. All hand-sets, which were included in the network in this period, will be automatically included in the database without any statements by their owners and will be announced as legal.
Considerable part of work over the establishment of database on IMEI codes has been done.The project includes cellular communication operators and governmental agencies.
Thus, the State Customs Committee will carry out control and registration of imported hand sets along with the operator after the connection..
At present at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport, one can voluntary register IMEI-code of the phone when importing mobile phones into the country.
Another important issue is related to import of mobile hand-sets, purchased abroad for private use. In Turkey owners themselves carry out registration and pay duties. New SMS duty payment system was applied to simplify this procedure. Similar version will be applied in Azerbaijan.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to urge that the new order will fully eliminate contraband and robbery of hand-sets. Presently, many infringing manufacturers use a method of IMEI cloning through "reinsertion", which is inexpensive and short process.
Azerbaijan is thinking of preventing appearance of IMEI clones and hopes to use experience of countries with passed all peripeteia of the new law. Mammadov said the problem has been partially solved in Turkey through applying a method of connecting IMEI code to a concrete number. Respectively, a mobile hand-set with similar IMEI code will not wok in the network.
In difference to Turkey, the UK used more radical steps, envisaging criminal responsibility for cloning IMEI code. It imposes the punishment by fine years in imprisonment and fines the sum of which is unlimited.
Mobile hand-set producers also take measures to fight cloning IMEI codes, recoding it into the memory of telephone, which cannot be reprogrammed.
In case of robbery some elite hand-sets have individual charging devices, which cannot be replaced. Thus, the stolen hand-set cannot be charged.
The Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers approved a project to create a single database of IMEI codes of cell phones in the country. The government has instructed a number of ministries to prepare a coordination plan, which will form the basis for the project. The legislative issues concerning the project were also resolved and the project will enter into the next phase of implementation soon.