Ethio Telecom to Neutralize 2.7m Mobile Phones

The management of the Ethio Telecom has announced it has identified 2.7 million mobile sets its managers described as “cloned” thus to be neutralized from functions within a year.

Cloned mobile telephone sets are one without International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), a peculiar numbers every phone has been designated to by manufacturers as an identification. Of the 58 million mobile subscribers in Ethiopia, close to three million are known by the state telecom monopoly as ones with illegitmate IMEI or none.

The telecom company, in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MoCIT), was working for the last two years to launch a Mobile Device Registration System.

The registration will be enforced on any SIM card supporting device, including iPads and tablets, Abdurahim Ahmed, manager of Corporate Communications for Ethio Telecom; Balcha Reba, director of Standardisation & Regulatory Directorate; and Ayalneh Lemma, head of Legal Services at MoCIT,  told reporters at the Hilton today, September 14, 2017.

Ethio Telecom will start registering new mobile devices into the system starting from September 18, 2017, hoping that the move will help fight smuggled phones into the national market. But existing devices in operations have already been registered automatically, according to the officials.


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