U.S. carriers partner with FCC to track stolen cell phones

By on April 10, 2012 at 5:10 PM.

U.S. carriers partner with FCC to track stolen cell phones

The four major wireless providers in the United States have partnered with the Federal Communications Commission in an effort to curb cell phone theft, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The wireless companies will build a central database of stolen cell phones, which will track phones that are reported as lost or stolen and deny them voice and data service. The goal of the database is to reduce crime by making it very difficult to use a stolen device. Verizon Wireless and Sprint currently block phones that are reported stolen from being reactivated. AT&T and T-Mobile do not, although all four carriers have now agreed to be part of the new database. Members of Congress are also expected to propose legislation to make it a crime to alter a cell phone’s unique identification number, according to the report. Similar stolen-phone databases are already in place in the U.K., Germany, France and Australia. While crime hasn’t completely stopped, the number of incidents has apparently declined. Carriers will roll out individual databases within six months that will be centralized over a 12-month period, with smaller regional wireless providers expected to join the database over the next two years. More →

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Sprint iPad reportedly appears in Best Buy inventory system

By on March 12, 2012 at 11:30 PM.

Sprint iPad reportedly appears in Best Buy inventory system

At launch, AT&T and Verizon will be the exclusive carriers of the new 4G-enabled iPad in the United States. In the spring, however, Sprint will also be launching its own 4G LTE network. With the carrier already selling Apple’s flagship smartphone, users were shocked to see the Cupertino-based company shun its new partner’s network — but this may not be the case. According to images obtained by Engadget, Sprint iPad models have begun to show up in Best Buy’s inventory system. Nothing is confirmed at this point, but it is possible that a Sprint iPad could launch around the same time as the carrier’s first batch of 4G LTE smartphones. A second image of Best Buy’s system can be seen after the break. More →

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