If you are considering buying a cheap Chinese phone, well it is advisable to reconsider your plan. The Chinese mobile handsets that flood the Indian market may be a cause of cheer for consumers but definitely not for the Indian security agencies.
Department of Telecom (DoT) is planning to block cell phones which do not bear the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. (Cheap Chinese phones do not have an IMEI number)
There are approximately 1.5 crore China-made and locally-assembled handsets in use that don’t have IMEI numbers. Even mobile phones that have all zeroes or no zero in their IMEI code will be barred. DoT decided to make this move after security agencies found that the mobile phones used by terrorists in the recent blasts did not have IMEI numbers.
Sales of Chinese handsets constitute about 13 per cent (or Rs 4,000 crore) of the Rs 30,000-crore annual mobile handset market in the country. IMEI numbers can be checked by dialing “*#06#” in any keypad.