IMEI-code registration project involves two more Azerbaijan state bodies

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 7 / Trend H.Valiyev /

The Azerbaijani State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents and the State Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Protection Service under the Azerbaijani Economic Development Ministry are involved in the project on launch of the IMEI-code registration system, RCom CEO Seymur Mammadov told Trend.

Azerbaijani company RCom, the system integrator, was chosen to perform maintenance work on the construction of the system.

According to Mammadov, the Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents will issue certificates and check telephones imported to Azerbaijan for compliance with the standards.

"This requires a suitable laboratory, without which it is impossible to quickly verify the quality of handsets. These are not products made by world famous manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, or Sony-Ericsson. There are practically no problems with the products from these manufacturers, since prior to getting onto the Azerbaijani market they are examined for compliance with accepted standards. We are talking about mostly Chinese-made phones, except for well-known brands such Huawei Technologies, ZTE, and Bird, which do not comply with any standards," Mammadov said.

The phones, he said, may contain spyware, and they may not meet safety standards for radiation, which can adversely affect health, may operate at different frequencies, creating interference. Today the quality of these devices is not controlled by any official international bodies, and therefore it is not possible to predict how they will affect human health or the environment.

On the other hand, the phones use a fictional IMEI-code, which, according to the rules should be formally acquired from a GSM Association.

"The application of the IMEI-code registration system of mobile phones is designed to eliminate this undesirable factor, as well as prevent the entry of clones of known manufacturers into the market. This, in turn, will meet the requirements of the State Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Protection Service, which has the right to require the registration system, that the IMEI-code controlled the quality of the phones and worked for the benefit of consumers. The service monitors this system and aspects that may be contrary to the law on consumer rights, are excluded from the rules of the project," Mammadov said.

Details of the final document governing the project are under currently discussion. Emerging issues require modification and approval in connection with which the project has involved new organizations and agencies.

"The document clearly states that there should be a system which will monitor and limit the use of illegal and substandard phones in the Azerbaijan mobile networks on the basis of the adopted rules. Upcoming rules are checked for compliance with applicable laws on standardization, etc. In general, the document shall be drafted in such a way not to inconvenience customers," Mammadov said.

The Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers has already submitted the final document on the IMEI code registration system to all ministries for approval.

The document is intended to regulate the rules for mobile operators, importers, and private users. The development of rules that will be used to apply this project is underway. As soon as the rules are examined for compliance with existing legislation, the installation of equipment and software, which, of course, will be tailored to the existing rules and requirements, will be launched.

After the official document is ready and the system will be ready for launch, mobile operators will need to prepare its infrastructure in accordance with the requirements of the IMEI code registration system. Implementation of the system, according to Mammadov, will not require significant investment from operators, but if the operator wishes to have own parallel system that would duplicate the work of the registration system, in this case, it should purchase additional equipment.

The IMEI-code registration system of mobile phones is expected to be launched in early next year, Mammadov said earlier.

All the information within the project will be included in a single head center, which will be created in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies. The database will be supplemented by ІМЕІ codes of mobile phones that are imported into Azerbaijan. They will be registered via the customs authorities, as well as by connecting to the operator's network.

After the formation of the database, data about the state of the mobile phone market (market amount, the number of legal and illegal products) will be available. The new system will more effectively combat both the theft and the illegal importation of mobile phones into the country. After laws for registration IMEI-code of mobile phones enter into force, hardware and software to disable the phones, illegally imported into Azerbaijan, will be connected.

The project involves mobile operators and state agencies. Verification and registration of imported mobile phones is carried by the State Customs Committee. Regulator of the project is the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies.

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