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Jakarta Post

No more illegal phones: Indonesia to impose IMEI control regulation on April 18

  • Riza Roidila Mufti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, February 28, 2020   /   03:53 pm
No more illegal phones: Indonesia to impose IMEI control regulation on April 18 Ready at hand: A cellphone user looks at a Facebook page at a shop on Latha Street, Yangon, Myanmar, on Aug. 8. (Reuters/Ann Wang )

The government will start blocking unregistered cell phones starting April 18 as it imposes the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) policy to curb the circulation of illegal phones. 

Blocked phones will not be able to connect to mobile networks.

“The government is committed to implementing the IMEI controlling with a white list scheme or preventive measures so people can determine the legality of certain devices before buying them,” said Communications and Information Ministry director general for resources and postal and informatics devices, Ismail, in Jakarta on Friday.

On that basis, people who want to buy new cell phones starting April 18 should check the legality of the devices on the Industry Ministry’s website. Those who have ordered devices from overseas that arrive in the country after April 18 should register their devices’ IMEI via an app that will be prepared by the government.

However, cell phones that are activated and used prior to the date will not be blocked, Ismail said.

“Don’t worry. They [existing phone users] don’t need to register anything,” he stressed.

Read also: Government to test illegal cellphone restrictions based on IMEI

The government issued in October last year a regulation that allows a national IMEI system to identify illegal cell phones and requires operators to block them from networks. The phones are commonly sold on domestic and overseas black market.

The Communications and Information Ministry is working with the Trade Ministry, the Industry Ministry, the Finance Ministry as well as network operators to implement the regulation.

An IMEI number is unique to each device for identification purposes.

Cellular network operators will be able to block a certain phone by matching the IMEI of the device connected to its network and the government’s database. If the identity is not registered, operators can block it from their network.