EghtesadOnline: The Telecoms Ministry is set to restart a project in four months to register all mobile phones.
“The ministry reached agreement with a contractor [name not mentioned] in mid June, Telecoms Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, said.
He added the “finance has been provided and the process of procuring the hardware and software is going well.”
In a bid to curb smuggling of mobile phones, the ministry and the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration in the summer of last year called for all mobiles to be registered with a government database, according to Financial Tribune.
The ministry set a deadline and warned that if unregistered the phones would soon become unusable. The plan flopped.
Vaezi said that the plan was initially supposed to be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Industries, noting that had it not been for their lack of support the delay would be avoided.
“The Ministry of Industries was supposed to pay for the establishment of the infrastructure required for developing the scheme, and Telecoms Ministry was responsible for the roll-out. The Industries Ministry failed to provide the funds, so the project could not commence.”
If the scheme is successful, all cell phones in use in the country, including brands not represented by their parent company like Apple Electronics, would need to be on the national register by the end of next year or face being blocked.
Mobile registry schemes work via a mobile phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) which is unique to every phone produced.
The registry of IMEI numbers is common in several markets around the world including the United Kingdom and New Zealand.