All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 15-07-2008, 08:39 AM
mstruve mstruve is offline
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Can a network operator block a handset?

Hi, please could some knowledgable person kindly settle a dispute for me? - Can a network block a mobile handset? eg if a phone is stolen, clearly you can cancel the sim, but can the handset itself also be blocked?
Thanks

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Old 15-07-2008, 08:41 AM
bartmanekul bartmanekul is offline
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Yes. They will block the IMEI number, rendering the handset useless.

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Old 15-07-2008, 08:54 AM
mstruve mstruve is offline
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Thanks. So not even changing the firmware for example makes any difference? Surely that makes mobile phone theft these days utterly pointless?

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Old 15-07-2008, 09:01 AM
bartmanekul bartmanekul is offline
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Nope, its still blocked, even if you format it and/or do a firmware update.

It does stop a lot of theft, but often they either sell it very fast, before it locked, or they flog it to someone offering lots of excuses.

It doesnt have a simcard in, theres no signal in here, etc etc. It works fine apart from the fact it will not register on any network, and thus get no signal.

So this is why you should beware of buying it from 'that bloke in the pub'.

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Old 15-07-2008, 09:14 AM
mstruve mstruve is offline
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I see. thanks again for your replies. to be honest I was wrong in this dispute and had thought that it was akin to Sky making your TV stop working, but I obviously underestimated the power of the operators.

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Old 15-07-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartmanekul View Post
Yes. They will block the IMEI number, rendering the handset useless.
.......and you should not post your IMEI number on forums (there is software to change that code....highly illegal to do so though !)
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Old 15-07-2008, 10:35 AM
argh argh is offline
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As mentioned above, there is software to change the IMEI on most devices which is illegal in most countries.

Also, the blocked IMEIs are registered on a database shared by many operators, but not all of them use it. This means that while the handset might no longer work in your country, it might work in some countries abroad.

  #8  
Old 15-07-2008, 11:35 AM
mstruve mstruve is offline
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That's interesting. Clearly it's illegal to change the IMEI number on a phone, but presumably no more illegal than using chipped games consoles and cable boxes, which many people do without too much concern. Or is it easier for the police to catch up with you in the case of phones?

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Old 15-07-2008, 12:34 PM
buxz777 buxz777 is offline
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if you get caught with the programme youd only have one use for it mate so youd get done , you see alot of phones on ebay saying barred from uk but will work abroad , so as the other user said allthough its been banned it may still work on non uk networks

did you loose your phone then?? good luck witha replacement if you did

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Old 15-07-2008, 12:38 PM
buxz777 buxz777 is offline
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id also say it was a bit more serious then owning a console that plays backed up games mate , theft of a mobile phone is involved , i know you might argue that theft of games copyright is being stolen but you could also argue whats wrong with owning a console that plays backed up games so i can keep my original games pristine , with the mobile phones you would be owning a nicked mobile so if you was to get caught with it you could get done for suspected robbery , theft , handling stolen goods etc etc

its a dodgy one but i know that the police wouldnt be to nice about it as there are so many phone thefts/muggings for phones/insuarance scams for phones etc etc

i defo wouldnt like to own a phone that had been nicked and had the serial changed no way

  #11  
Old 15-07-2008, 12:53 PM
mstruve mstruve is offline
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no don't get me wrong, i haven't lost my phone and def wouldn't ever use a phone that i suspected was stolen or had the serial changed (despite my fairly lax views on copyright infringement ), for exactly the reasons you say regarding backing up games/movies and the general associations of mobile phone theft.

it was just someone said to me the other day that if you report a phone stolen 'they can stop it working' which sounded insane at the time, but if it just means 'the operators can prevent it connecting to their network', it makes more sense.

i wanted to find out more and i knew this would be the place to come for prompt, straight answer rather than trawling the net picking up scraps of info

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Old 15-07-2008, 08:06 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartmanekul View Post
Yes. They will block the IMEI number, rendering the handset useless.
...but only in Europe. Take a stolen handset outside of Europe and it would work again (assuming it was unlocked for any SIM prior to being lost).
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  #13  
Old 15-07-2008, 08:08 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstruve View Post
That's interesting. Clearly it's illegal to change the IMEI number on a phone, but presumably no more illegal than using chipped games consoles and cable boxes, which many people do without too much concern. Or is it easier for the police to catch up with you in the case of phones?
You can get up to 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine (in UK) if caught using a handset with a modified IMEI.
Although it's difficult to see how you would be caught, I think it's fair to say few will consider it worth the risk.
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  #14  
Old 15-07-2008, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dez_borders View Post
You can get up to 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine (in UK) if caught using a handset with a modified IMEI.
Although it's difficult to see how you would be caught, I think it's fair to say few will consider it worth the risk.
I would have thought that practically impossible to prosecute on?
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Old 16-07-2008, 05:47 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Originally Posted by kontraband View Post
I would have thought that practically impossible to prosecute on?
Let's say you get stopped by police on some unrelated incident and they want to make something stick - all that's required is to compare the IMEI number on the label under the battery with the one displayed by *#06#

Bang. You're nicked.
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