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TRA cracks down on fake phones

Counterfeited handsets will be disconnected from du, Etisalat services after cut-off date

TRA cracks down on fake phones
The UAE TRA has begun a crack-down on fake phones.

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is cracking down on fake mobile phones by launching a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of using counterfeit mobiles.

"Our ultimate goal is to eliminate fake mobile devices in the UAE and educate the general public as well as retailers on the risks involved with their use. I want to thank both Etisalat and du for their support of this campaign," said TRA director general Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim.

The UAE's telecoms laws prohibit the use, sale, purchasing, distribution, and promotion of fake mobile devices and the TRA is taking all the necessary steps to ensure there is a complete stop to the sale and usage of such devices in the UAE.

According to the TRA, those involved in the sale of fake mobile phones will be given a notice and a fine, while in some cases licenses could be withheld as a consequence of regulations not being met.

"Issues of counterfeiting and piracy have a tremendous impact on the economy and intellectual property rights, but fake mobile phones are also low quality devices that have been manufactured without the proper tests and checks. In addition to performance issues, the use of such devices could have a significant impact on personal health and safety," said Ghanim.

The TRA said that fake phones pose a danger to users and are prone to battery leaks or explosions, which release corrosive or poisonous chemicals.

Low quality assembly also means radiation levels go unchecked, the batteries tend to drain faster, and signal reception is usually much weaker.

"On our part, Etisalat will provide all the necessary information to enable effected users in detecting if their mobile devices are counterfeit and for them to replace it where required. For validation, Etisalat's customers can send the International Mobile Equipment Identity [IMEI] of their mobile phones to a specially created short code ‘8877'. Moreover, Etisalat's customers using a counterfeit device with a fake IMEI number will receive an SMS message notifying them of the same. They will be requested to replace it with a genuine handset before the cut-off date," said acting Etisalat CEO Nasser Bin Obood.

Users of fake devices will be immediately contacted by their service providers and all phones that are not type approved will be disconnected from all telecom services, including calls, texts and internet.

"In national interest of those of our customers, we fully support the TRA directive to identity all fake IMEIs of our customers' mobile handsets. We believe this will go a long way to protect the UAE's consumers from pitfalls of using sub-standard and fake mobile handsets in the UAE," said du CEO du Osman Sultan.

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