Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zain, MTN partner NetVisa on anti-phone theft scheme

Leading mobile phone operators in the country under the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), MTN Nigeria and Zain Nigeria, have joined forces with the anti-mobile phone theft network service provider, NetVisa Nigeria Limited.

ITRealms Online gathered that while Zain connected to the network just before the inauguration of the service about three weeks ago, MTN hooked on to it about a fortnight ago.

This much was confirmed by the Corporate Services Executive at MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck, at the weekend to ITRealms Online.

“We have connected,” he declared.

Also, ITRealms Online learnt that with this connection by the operators, it would allows both firms to offer their subscribers a service whereby if they report their phones stolen, such phones would be rendered unusable in any mobile network in the country.

This would be possible as Netvisa would keep a database of the International Manufacturers Equipment Identity (IMEI) of such phones and make them available to operators to bar them from their networks.

Commenting on the connection of the two operators, the Executive Director, Industry Relations, NetVisa Nigeria Limited, Mr. Abubakar Grema, said that it was great that Zain and MTN were now part of the service.

As said by him, with the two largest networks now ready to offer mobile owners the mobile phone anti-theft service, subscribers should now adopt the attitude of writing down the IMEI numbers of their mobile phones as it is the primary means by which their stolen phones could be identified by mobile network operators.

“It is a great development to now have both MTN and Zain on our network. As you know, these two operators account for about 65 per cent of mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria and this means that as things stand, most Nigerian phone users can now benefit from the service offered by Netvisa,” he said.

Grema also said, that in the coming weeks more operators are expected to be hooked on the Netvisa network to offer same services to subscribers.

Emphasizing that all the 11 mobile service operators have now been trained on the delivery of the service and what is left is for them to hook on NetVisa network.

He further said both GSM and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators would be offering the service and that the scheme would also be available for other value-added services.

Netvisa, he said, had already established all that was needed for any subscriber to report the loss of their phones and get them barred from any network in Nigeria.

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