Major US networks to switch off stolen smartphones

Major US networks to switch off stolen smartphones

The rise in smartphone theft in the US has led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action.

As part of its course of action the FCC is planning to create a national database of stolen smartphones to ensure that the devices never work again.

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the organisation, is set to announce the new plan later today, which is expected to be fully implemented in 18-months time.

With one in three robberies in the US resulting in the theft of a smartphone, the FCC are hoping the four big operators – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile – will start to compile databases of all phones on their networks that are reported as stolen.

The carriers will then block these units from being registered again. After 18 months, the FCC hopes to have merged the databases from the four companies and to introduce a cross-network block on the stolen handsets ever being re-registered, according to the New York Times.

Organisations in the UK are said to be keeping a close eye on the project, with the possibility that it could make the move across the pond, which could be good news for business users.