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AUS: Mobile Phone Register Will Knock Off Theft

The black market for stolen mobile phone handsets in Australia should be stamped out with the establishment of the successful proposal for a lost and stolen mobile phone database system by RNR Senator Ian Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communication, Information Technology and the Arts, said today.

'This is a significant day for Australia's six million plus mobile phone owners,' said Senator Campbell.

The successful proposal submitted by RNR enables mobile phone owners to cancel service through their respective telecommunications carrier, which will automatically register the handset with the registration system. Members of the community, police, authorised business entities such as second-hand phone dealers and carriers will be able to query the system regarding the status handsets. The system is expected to be up and running by late December this year.

'The proposal demonstrates how government, industry and stakeholders can work together towards eradicating the black market in mobile phones and make it easier to recover lost and stolen mobiles,' said Senator Campbell.

'The role of Government galvanised the various telecommunications stakeholders to formulate an effective commercial response, while the industry took the lead and generated solutions to the lost and stolen mobile phone issue - which it has now done.

'The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has done an outstanding job to find a workable, commercially viable solution to the problem.

'It was also encouraging to see the co-operation of fiercely competitive mobile phone carriers along with industry associations, user groups and police to ensure a new level of consumer protection for a crime which has cost the Australian economy between $65 and $100 million', Senator Campbell said.

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