13:08 03.07.2019

Kyivstar believes disconnection of phones with illegal IMEI codes not profile task of operators

2 min read
Kyivstar believes disconnection of phones with illegal IMEI codes not profile task of operators

The Kyivstar mobile communications operator believes that a priority for telecom operators is the provision of communications services to the population, and the tax and customs offices should be engaged in settling the problem of illegal imports of mobile phones, Kyivstar President Alexander Komarov told reporters in Lviv last week.

"I do not like it when they start shifting the role of the state at the border to operators... I have a different business. The business of a mobile operator is for people to use communication services," he said.

The president of Kyivstar said that there are many controversial issues in the idea of disabling the "black" and "gray" IMEI codes of mobile devices. In particular, a large number of phones with duplicate IMEI, arising not only because of the falsification of these codes by fraudsters, but also because many manufacturers do not want to pay the GSMA associations for each device produced and "slightly manipulate these things."

"Who will be responsible for this problem? I, as an operator, do not want to. This is outside the scope of my business. On the other hand, we understand the existence of a gray import problem, phone theft problems... Therefore, we have a neutral mood on this issue. I consider it our priority to provide communication services to people of the highest quality possible, and not to deal with where someone took the phone. We are not in the telephone business," Komarov said.

In turn, Director for Corporate & Regulatory Affairs at Kyivstar Oleksandr Kogut noted the high risk that bona fide subscribers could suffer due to over-regulation of the issues of disconnecting phones with illegal IMEI codes.

"No one has commented to operators and subscribers how it will work, why random coincidences are impossible. And when a subscriber or a business that depends on our services every day will be blocked because someone will have a certificate [from the regulator or from Ukrainian State Centre of Radio Frequencies (UCRF)] that this is a "gray" phone, but at the same time a person bought this phone in the store as "white," there will be problems," Kogut said, insisting that first of all, customs offices, not mobile operators, must settle the problems of illegal import of equipment.

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