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July 18, 2012

Latin American Cell Providers Band Together to Track Device Theft
By Katie Gatto
TMCnet Contributor

Picture yourself sitting at a local coffee shop. Maybe you are waiting for a friend to join you, so you have your phone out and on the table. That way you don't miss a text or a call from your now late friend. You decide to go get a refill and you forget to bring your phone along with you when you hit the coffee bar – and besides, you are less than 10 feet from your phone; what could happen?

Some foot traffic goes by blocking your view for just a few seconds and when you get back to the table your phone is gone. This is just one of the many ways that one of your mobile devices could be taken from you.

Mobile device theft is not only a very annoying event in your life, but a major black market, both for the devices themselves and for the wealth of personal data that is on them. Don't you wish that someone would do something about it? One organization is trying to help keep mobile device theft to a minimum with the help of a new program. The organization that is making the effort is GSMA (News - Alert) Latin America and their program is a bit of a unique offering. The program announced collaboration between the 13 largest mobile carriers in Latin America – a collaboration that may help the authorities to find mobile device thieves.

The companies have all agreed to share data coming from stolen phones with the local authorities in order to help them track thieves and find the people behind the crimes with the stolen goods, or at least that the devices are unusable when they try to reconnect to the network. "Sharing of information via the global IMEI Database is an important collaborative step that our member MNOs are willing to take and is also proof of how public and private sectors can work together to address specific issues of concern to society and governments,” said Sebastian Cabello, the GSMA Latin America Director. “While information sharing can help to reduce crime, it is essential to explore and adopt other measures to ensure appropriate detection, prosecution and punishment of such crimes."

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile ecosystem? Then be sure to attend the
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC (News - Alert) Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo click here.

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Edited by Braden Becker


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