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What will happen to 'illegal' mobile phones after Aug. 17?

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, July 16, 2019  /  10:24 am
What will happen to 'illegal' mobile phones after Aug. 17?

The clampdown on unlicensed phones involves at least three ministries, namely the Industry Ministry, the Communications and Information Ministry and the Trade Ministry. (Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk)

Users of mobile phones purchased on the black market have been urged to register their devices’ international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number with the Industry Ministry before Aug. 17 to avoid disconnection, according to a report by kompas.com

The government plans to block such phones on Aug. 17 in an attempt to curb their distribution.

Read also: Indonesia to block use of ‘illegal’ cell phones

"Black market phones bought before Aug. 17 will [be exempted]; a regulation for that is currently being prepared," the Industry Ministry stated on its Instagram account on Thursday.

The statement also said Indonesian users wouldn't be able to use phones purchased outside the country after Aug. 17.

The ministry will implement the measure through the IMEI number that identifies the device with the help of the cellular operator. Users will no longer be able to use blocked phones for calls.

“We are currently preparing a [platform] for users to check their IMEI numbers. The Industry Ministry is collaborating with providers/operators in collecting the IMEI data," reads the post. 

According to the Indonesia Cell Phone Association (APSI), roughly 20 percent of the smartphones in the Indonesian market have been brought into the country illegally -- without registration by the authorities. The association estimated that this had caused financial losses of Rp 2.8 trillion (US$201 million) in foregone tax revenue.

The measure involves at least three ministries, namely the Industry Ministry, the Communications and Information Ministry and the Trade Ministry. 

Users can check their device's IMEI number by dialing *#06#. (das/kes)

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