Stolen phone database alive, carriers can now block pilfered handsets

US carriers agree to build stolen phone database, blacklist hot handsets

Earlier this year, all the major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint) huddled up with the FCC to create a stolen phone database so that they could block any renegade devices. That effort has now gone live, according to the CTIA, as the majors -- along with Cellcom and Nex-Tech Wireless -- have just deployed their bad-lists. These will allow the operators to identify poached devices through IMEI codes and stymie their activation on networks. AT&T and T-Mobile will also be adding cellphones reported stolen in the GSMA Global IMEI database to their new lists, which should bring US efforts up to snuff with a similar, successful UK program, albeit five long years later.