Latin American countries promote user registration and measures against handset theft 10 May 21 Carolina Limbatto

In Latin America, handset theft is a major problem. The government and industry players in several countries have implemented initiatives to prevent the use and sale of stolen devices. 

Most Latin American countries mandate registration for prepaid SIM cards. In December 2016, the Chilean Senate announced a draft law that would require mobile operators to register the personal details of their prepaid end users.

The United States and Canada do not regulate SIM card registration. However, prepaid customers in both countries represent less than 20% of the total mobile customer base (compared with 50-90% in Latin American countries).

Cullen International’s latest research in the Americas shows that all countries use national International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) blacklists to prevent the future use of handsets reported as lost or stolen.

Furthermore, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have implemented whitelists, which only allow devices with registered IMEIs to be used in domestic networks. Validation of devices is usually implemented in stages.

Cullen International’s newly designed Americas Telecoms benchmarks show:

  • whether mobile operators are required to register the personal data of their prepaid end users, including information on how personal data is registered (in person or electronically); and
  • initiatives against handset theft, including the use of IMEI blacklists and whitelists.

For more information and to access the full benchmarks, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our Americas Telecoms Service.


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