NZ cellcos blacklist stolen phones

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Dec 2013

New Zealand's three mobile operators have today switched on a system for blocking mobile phones that have been reported stolen.

The operators' new blacklisting system uses handsets' IMEI numbers to implement the block, Fairfax NZreported.

Telecom NZ, Vodafone and 2degrees had previously been blocking phones reported stolen based on their SIM, but that could be circumvented by just switching out the card.

The three companies have reportedly been working with industry body the Telecommunications Forum for a year to implement the new blacklisting system, which is gaining popularity worldwide. Blacklisting based on IMEIs uses an international database to track stolen phones.

In other news from New Zealand, Telecom NZ will sell off AAPT, its Australian wholesale and enterprise service provider subsidiary, for A$450 million ($409.8 million).

Australian ISP TPG Telecom has arranged to buy AAPT, in a deal motivated in part by the takeover target's fiber assets across the country.

Telecom NZ acquired AAPT in 2000, but the unit was a drain on its finances for years. In 2010, Telecom NZ sold AAPT's underperforming consumer business to iiNet, and the unit has since turned around.

But in a statement, Telecom NZ CEO Simon Moutter said the company is selling off the business as part of its strategy of refocusing on the New Zealand market.

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