Sunday, May 29 2022, 12:03 pm

BTRC seeks public views on mobile operators’ EIR draft

The BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) has sought public views on draft directives on the Equipment Identity Register (EIR) for mobile network operators (MNOs) in Bangladesh, reports The Independent.

”If a device is lost or stolen, the subscriber shall have to file a general diary (GD) in a local police station and go to the customer care centre of the MNO of the SIM with the copy of the GD & NID to lodge a complaint and block the stolen device,” says the BTRC.

The EIR is a database containing a list of all valid mobile equipment on the network. An equipment identity register reduces the threats of mobile device theft by enabling individual operators to prevent the use of stolen phones.

A Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) is a database of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of blacklisted handsets. If a device’s ESN or IMEI number is listed on a CEIR, it is not supposed to work on member service providers’ networks (only paying members can access the database).

The BTRC has uploaded the draft guideline on its website, seeking people’s views. The directives were published in the BTRC’s website a few months back for public consultation. Later, some alterations were made in the directives. Now, the BTRC would again like to seek the views the industries concerned and consumers regarding the amended draft directives.

BTRC chairman Jahirul Haque said: “Individuals importing/carrying mobile devices from abroad for personal use will be required to register the IMEI of the devices in the NEIR through personal/manual/web registration interface provided by the National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR).”

After the EIR verifies the device information, the request will be forwarded to the NEIR for further action. The NEIR, after necessary verifications, shall shift the IMEI from the previous list (except BL) to lost/stolen list (LSL), thus blocking access to all MNO networks. If the IMEI is already blacklisted, it will remain there and no further action will be taken, the draft guideline says.

According to the draft guidelines, subscribers will request access to mobile network operators (MNOs) who will record the IMEI, mobile station international subscriber directory number (MSISDN), IMSI and other attributes in the EIR of their own subscribers. The EIR will check if the device (IMEI) is a valid device type other than mobile phones by the device ID flag—vehicle trackers, digital utility meters, modems etc. The EIR will allow it network access.

If the device is detected to be a mobile phone, the EIR will check if the composite number (IMEI) is in the BL and/or Lost/Stolen List (LSL) provided by the NEIR. If the device is in the BL and/or LSL, the EIR will deny it access to the network, the guideline says.

If not, the EIR will check the White List (WL)/Grey List(GL)/Roaming List (RL), and if the composite number (IMEI+MSISDN) exists, the EIR will allow network access.

MNOs shall ensure compatibility in order to be connected with the NEIR including but not limited to connectivity, protocol, API etc. Necessary instructions related to integration will be given by the BTRC from time to time.

As per a draft directive on EIR, mobile phone users will have to register their handsets with the system. Any unregistered handset will not work, thereby significantly curbing illegal activities in the handset market, it added.

According to the draft guidelines, operators will create this database with the IMEI numbers of all mobile handsets as per their licence policy. There will be three categories—black, white and grey—in the database.

Micro Web Technology

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