The recently inaugurated national anti-mobile phone theft scheme has received a boost as two leading mobile phone operators, MTN Nigeria and Zain Nigeria, have now hooked on to the network of the service provider, NetVisa Nigeria Limited.
Our correspondent gathered that while Zain connected to the network just before the inauguration of the service about three weeks ago, MTN hooked on to it about two weeks ago.
The connection of the operators to the service allows both firms to offer their subscribers a service whereby when they report their phones as stolen; such phones would be rendered unusable in any mobile network in Nigeria.
This would be possible as Netvisa will keep a database of the International Manufacturers Equipment Identity of such phones and make them available to operators to bar them from their networks.
Commenting on the connection of the two operators to the service, the Executive Director, Industry Relations, NetVisa Nigeria Limited, Mr. Abubakar Grema, noted that it was great that Zain and MTN were now part of the service.
According to him, with the two largest networks now ready to offer mobile owners the mobile phone anti-theft service, subscribers should now adopt the attitude of writing down the IMEI (International Manufacturers Equipment Identity) numbers of their mobile phones as it is the primary means by which their stolen phones can be identified by mobile network operators.
â€œIt is a great development to now have both MTN and Zain on our network. As you know, these two operators account for about 65 per cent of mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria and this means that as things stand, most Nigerian phone users can now benefit from the service offered by Netvisa.
He added that in the coming weeks more operators are expected to be hooked on the Netvisa network to offer same services to subscribers.
According to him all 11 mobile service operators have now been trained on the delivery of the service and that all that was left was for them to hook on their networks.
Grema said both GSM and CDMA operators would be offering the service and that the scheme would also be offering other value-added services.
Netvisa, he added, had already established all that was needed for any subscriber to report the loss of their phones and get them barred from any network in Nigeria