TRA confiscates 27,600 mobiles, other gadgets

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TRA confiscates 27,600 mobiles, other gadgets

The UAE’s telecommunication watchdog has seized 27,600 unauthorised mobile phones and other devices in a nation-wide campaign during the first six months of the year.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Thu 23 Aug 2012, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:36 AM

The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority’s campaign aims at protecting the telecommunications market from the use of devices which are non-compliant with the specifications.

The campaigns carried out during the first half of the year resulted in the confiscation of over 27,600 sets including multiple and different types of unauthorised devices.

The authority carried out “the widest and largest campaign of seizures resulting in the confiscation of over 27,600 devices and handing them over to the Economic Department in Dubai,” it said on Wednesday.

Engineer Ahmad Al Shamsi, Director of Type Approval in the TRA, asserted that the campaign would continue “to reduce the increasing number of unauthorised telecommunication devices.”

Mobile phone maker Nokia whose business is affected by such an illegal business welcomed the campaign.

Faisal Al Bannai, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai-based mobile phone retailer Axiom Telecom said that counterfeit, unauthentic or otherwise compromised devices deprive people of true quality and can even put their health in potential danger.

TRA’s Al Shamsi said such devices may also disrupt the telecommunication networks causing frequency interference affecting the telecommunication services’ subscribers. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates that the total domestic mobile phone sale in the country is estimated to grow five per cent per annum by 2015 to a value of $414 million in 2015 from $349 million, at the end of last year.

The second biggest Arab economy had a mobile phone subscribers’ base of 10.9 million in 2010 while the mobile phone handset penetration is estimated to grow to 257 per cent in the next three years from 238 per cent in 2011.

Jussi Hinkkanen, Head of Corporate Relations, IMEA, Nokia said that fake mobile phones are low quality replica devices that have been manufactured without proper tests which often do not comply with industry standards. “In addition to performance issues, the use of such devices could have a significant impact on personal health and safety.”

Asked how customers can verify whether they are using a genuine handset, Hinkkanen said customers can obtain the serial or IMEI number by dialling *#06# on their handset. The number obtained must then be messaged to 8877 on both du and Etisalat networks, who will confirm the authenticity through a reply.

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