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The Economic Times

ICA guns for regulation on used handsets sale

JAIPUR: Indian Cellular Association (ICA) is planning to mobilise the industry for regulating the sale of used mobile handsets after curbing the proliferation of unbranded and counterfeit mobile handsets and accessories. ICA national president Pankaj Mohindroo told ET that unauthorised exchange of mobiles, like unbranded/fake/non-IMEI handsets, can pose serious threat to national security.

“Around 5-crore mobile handsets are traded in the second hand mobile market every year in the country without ascertaining the identity of the customers. We would be creating awareness among people to sign up a sale deed with the second-time user so that the person can be tracked down in case of any security issue,” he said.

The Indian Cellular Association (ICA), apex body of the range of mobile industry players barring the mobile operators, also appealed to both customers and trade to desist from purchasing and indulging in the transaction of unbranded/fake/non IMEI handsets. “The DoT has directed to bar services to illegal or unbranded handsets by November 30th 2009. Such unbranded devices, which either possess no IMEI numbers or invalid/cloned IMEI numbers, pose a serious threat to national security, as these are untraceable devices.

There is a clear directive from the government directing operators not to process and reject calls from mobile handsets with IMEI numbers not available in the updated GSMSA database or without IMEI numbers or all zeros IMEI numbers from 30.11.2009. The directive is equally applicable to all post paid and pre paid users of mobile services,” he said.

Mr. Mahindroo said that with the ban on these unbranded mobiles, the market share of low-cost handsets is likely to increase. “At present low-cost handset have a market share of 15% as against 20% cornered by unbranded handsets. Once these non-IMEI handsets vanish from markets, the small players are likely to gain,” he said.

According to ICA, the average selling price of mobile handsets has come down from Rs 5000 to Rs 2500. “Around 92% of handsets have a price tag less than Rs 6000 while 73% cost less than Rs 3000. With higher mobility penetration, the low-cost handsets are bound to thrive,” he said.
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