South Africa’s three mobile phone operators have agreed to co-operate on sharing databases of stolen phones and baring them from use on all three networks. This agreement will make it easier for the companies – Cell C, MTN and Vodacom – to blacklist and disable stolen, lost and destroyed cell phones and for the police to trace and arrest those who steal cell phones or use them to further their criminal activities.
Until now stolen phones have been “grey” listed by MTN and Vodacom, which means that the sim cards were blocked but not the cell phone instruments. Criminals could simply change sim cards and continue using the phones. On the other hand Cell C has been blacklisting stolen or lost cellphones since its inception.