About 250 lakh handsets are expected to be out of service from April 15, as GSM service providers, including Airtel and Vodafone pull the plug on them. These are unbranded Chinese mobiles that do not have IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers and pose a serious security risk.
All mobile phone service users have been directed by the Department of Telecom (DoT) to disconnect these phones. In fact, two deadlines – January 6 and March 31 – have already been missed by the companies. Now they have undertaken to acquire the necessary equipment to track these phones by April 15 and discontinue their services thereafter – a process that is expected to take another 15 days, that is, by April 30.