According to reliable sources, AT&T is going to introduce a service through which users will be able to report and block their stolen phones. The company will add the device to a block list, and it will no longer be able to make voice calls, use data or send text messages on AT&T’s network. In order to add the phone to the block list, all users having remote data wipe apps enabled on their devices are advised to perform the wipe.
This service disables the users’ accounts instead of cancelling them. This is so in case the they get their phones back, they can call the company’s representative to activate their service again.
The company hasn’t revealed many details about this service, but a spokesperson said that it will be introduced next week. In addition, AT&T is working on a project of cross-carrier solution, which allows the company to block AT&T phones from other networks as well.
“As announced in April, AT&T is creating a stolen phone database to prevent devices reported stolen from accessing wireless networks,” an AT&T spokesperson. “We will install this availability next week for AT&T phones on our network and are working toward a cross-carrier solution later this year.”
In an attempt to make a national stolen phone database, the Federal Communications Commissions has directed all the four major U.S. carriers; AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint to work on this service. Verizon and Sprint have already introduced this service for their users but GSM-based carriers whose phones are dependent on SIM card slots haven’t done it yet.
The step taken by FCC will eventually make stolen phones harder to use and the commission hopes to discourage theft as well. Although, it’s not an infallible idea because some thieves may ship the stolen phones to other countries where the block service cannot be implemented.
The ability to close down services on a phone is still appreciable, as it will discourage criminal activities to some extent and will deter casual theft.