News by Dan Seifert on Tuesday July 10, 2012.
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AT&T revealed it will start blocking stolen cell phones from its network starting this week. The new policy uses a database of phones that have been reported as stolen to prevent them from being activated.
Initially, the database will be used to prevent the use of stolen cell phones on AT&T's own network, but it will be made available to other carriers later this year. Earlier this year, the U.S. government announced a plan for a nationwide database of stolen cell phones that all carriers would use. "As announced in April, AT&T is creating a stolen phone database to prevent devices reported stolen from accessing wireless networks," said an AT&T spokesperson to The New York Times. "We will install this availability for AT&T phones on our network and are working toward a cross-carrier solution later this year."
Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest carrier, has had a stolen phone database of its own for years, and it has been able to block stolen devices from operating on its network. Verizon did say that it would participate in the nationwide cross-carrier database when it becomes available later this year.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.