People who come from abroad to Nepal tend to bring mobile phones as a gift for their friends and families. These can be very beneficial for the receiver but it definitely increases the risks in consumer security, national security and the economy itself. So, to discourage such activities, Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) is planning to implement Equipment Identity Register (EIR) for all mobile devices in Nepal.
It has been many weeks that the planning has been done. But, the EIR might take some more time to actually come in to effect. Before that, let me share my knowledge with you regarding the EIR in Nepal.
DETAILS OF EIR:
The EIR is viewed as the database which keeps the identification numbers of electronics, mainly the mobile devices. The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers are kept as a record in the EIR. IMEI is a 15 to 17 digit unique identification number which is given to every mobile device during the production. If lost, or stolen, IMEI numbers help in the tracking of the device. The IMEI number can be viewed attached to the box of the device, the back of the phone or beneath the battery. Even they can be viewed manually by dialling *06# on mobile devices.
The Equipment Identity Register (EIR) in Nepal is divided into three categories for proper separation. All mobile devices are to be categorized into these three categorized on the basis of their entry. The entry to the mobile devices can be the white way, grey way and the black way which is separated into three lists: white, grey and black list simultaneously.
THE WHITE LIST:
The mobile devices which make its way into Nepal by fulfiling the requirements set by the network operator are listed on the white list. These devices can be freely used in Nepal without any issues. All of their features are also unlocked for better usage. The mobile devices brought by clearing all ‘customs’ fall under this list.
THE GREY LIST:
The grey list of mobile devices consists of the mobile devices which are active on the network of Nepal but, are not registered on the telecommunications authority directories. The mobile devices brought into Nepal from different unauthorized sources (such as a person who visited abroad) fall on this list.
THE BLACK LIST:
The black list compromises the mobile devices which have the IMEI numbers reported to the police. The mobile devices are either been stolen or whose usage can adversely affect the network fall under this list. These type of mobile devices are not allowed to get any access to the network of Nepal.
ADVANTAGES OF EIR IN NEPAL:
As the Equipment Identity Register (EIR) comes in effect, all mobile devices can fully gain access to the national network. With this, the telecommunications authority can have an eye on the number of devices in the country.
BENEFIT TO THE NATIONAL ECONOMY:
After all mobile devices are registered in the EIR, the country is benefitted from the taxes. The national authorized distributors should pay an amount of taxes to import mobile devices through an IMEI registration. All people who come from abroad will have to encompass under this rule.
With registration in EIR, it will be easy in the tracking of mobile phones. All devices will be registered on the EIR with IMEI number which can be used to track the mobile devices which are either lost or stolen. Different identity frauds can be looked into deeply through the EIR. Consumer and network security can be minimized by tracking threats using a mobile device. This specifically helps any individual to prevent the use of his/her mobile phones from being used for any illegal purposes with or without their consent.
WHAT HAPPENS TO GREY LIST MOBILES:
The mobiles making into Nepal through the grey channels have to pay the taxes as well. And when the taxes add up, the cost of the mobile devices rise more than the ones from white way channels. The EIR aims to generally give more space to authorized importers while discouraging the grey marketers.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON EIR:
I like the idea of Equipment Identity Register (EIR) for all mobile devices in Nepal. Once the EIR is live, the telecommunications authority can have all the records of mobile devices reducing frauds and illegal activities. It is good for all individuals but, the price of mobile devices will be always high. The grey way of importing mobile devices in Nepal is to the specific fact of lesser price on mobiles. If the price of mobiles can be lesser than that of today’s market price, then definitely EIR is a very good concept. And, if the prices rise higher then, it could turn in to a bad way for every Nepali.