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Optus blocks stolen mobiles
31 Mar 2003

From today, Optus will make it more difficult for mobile phone thieves by introducing blocking technology that stops a stolen phone from being used on the Optus Mobile network.

The anti-theft technology works by detecting a mobile handset's electronic serial number, known as an international mobile station equipment identity (IMEI), then blocking it from accessing the Optus network.

Allen Lew, Managing Director, Optus Mobile said Optus had invested several million dollars to implement its solution which means all Australian GSM carriers now have the technology to block stolen phones on their own networks.

"Australian mobile users now have an added layer of protection against mobile theft," he said.

Mr Lew warned that despite having this new blocking technology consumers still have to take precautions to avoid the inconvenience caused by a lost or stolen mobile.

"Over 100,000 mobile phones were reported lost or stolen in 2002 - over 50 per cent taken from cars. We urge mobile users to take care of their mobiles and not leave them in places which may tempt inconsiderate actions by others."

IMEI numbers are independent of the phone number and are usually written underneath the battery on the back of the handset. Mobile phone users can also check their 15 digit IMEI number by dialing *#06# on their mobile handset.

The Optus solution supports IMEI blocking on the Optus network for Optus Mobile customers as well as RSL Com Mobile, B Digital, DigiPlus and Virgin Mobile.

Optus customers who need to report a mobile lost or stolen should call 1300 300 937.

Customers with other carriers should call their own carrier to report lost or stolen mobile phones.

Mind Your Mobile - Helpful hints for consumers

  • If your phone is lost or stolen, contact your service provider and the police immediately.
  • Treat your phone as you would any valuable item, remember a mobile can cost over $1000.
  • Don't leave your phone on display in crowded or insecure areas, especially in your car.
  • Always ensure your mobile's personal identification number (PIN) is activated.
  • Treat your mobile as you would a credit card, if it is lost or stolen report it immediately. Your service provider will be able to put a stop on your SIM number so the cost of calls made after you report it stolen are not put on your account. You can also ask for your handset to be blocked. Remember, if your then find your phone, you should call your provider immediately to get it unblocked.

For more information:
Louise Ingram
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 9342 5042