AT&T will launch an initiative this week that’s part of a collaboration with the federal government and with other wireless telecommunication companies that aims to prevent stolen smartphones and tablet computers from being reactivated and resold.
AT&T always has deactivated devices that are reported as lost or stolen by AT&T customers. Now the company will input each device’s unique identification information in a database that’s designed to prevent the device from being reactivated by an individual who isn’t the original owner, AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel tells Consumers Digest.
Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless also plan to track such information, which will be compiled in a Federal Communications Commission database that’s scheduled to be launched in early 2013. FCC will list all smartphones and tablets that are reported stolen.
Sprint and Verizon Wireless already have a system in place to block a cellphone from being reactivated if it was reported as lost or stolen.
The number of cellphone thefts has increased as consumer demand for smartphones has increased, say law-enforcement officials across the United States.
– K. Fanuko