14 June 2019
Côte d’Ivoire’s mobile industry has joined forces with trade body GSMA to support a major new initiative to guard against the use of stolen devices.
The scheme is part of the launch of the GSMA’s ‘We Care’ initiative in the country, a series of industry collaborative actions aimed at providing mobile users with a more secure and reliable mobile environment.
To mark the opening of the ‘Mobile 360 – West Africa’ event in Abidjan in April, representatives from the GSMA; local mobile operators Moov, MTN and Orange; national operators association UNETEL; and the ARTCI (Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications/TIC de Côte D’Ivoire), agreed to work together to protect citizens and businesses from stolen or counterfeit mobile devices.
The fraudulent use of lost equipment is an on-going challenge in the country.
Under the terms of the agreement, operators will take steps to upload details of reported lost or stolen devices to the GSMA IMEI 1 database to share with the wider ecosystem in order to reduce national and international device crime.
Access to the database and industry collaboration will allow operators to exchange undesirable International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) information.
The global GSMA IMEI database is updated daily through reports from more than 100 operators around the world.
The service protects one billion people worldwide. Around 12 million stolen devices were blocked last year as part of the scheme.
“With this initiative, mobile operators are taking an active role to ensure a trustworthy environment for consumers through public-private collaboration,” said Akinwale Goodluck, head of sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA. “Once implemented, Cote d’Ivoire will be the first country in sub-Saharan Africa with multi-operator participation in GSMA blacklisting, essentially providing all customers with the ability to report and block lost or stolen devices across multiple networks.”