FAST – IMEI Control

The IMEI Control module provides the following functions:

Synchronisation of IMEI-Lists with GSMA-IMEI-DB

The FAST Application retrieves and updates the internal IMEI Lists of FAST with the external database from GSMA.

This database contains amongst others the following information:

  • WhiteListed IMEI Ranges or specific lists of accepted IMEIs:
  • Blacklisted IMEI Ranges or lists of blacklisted IMEIs

Via the Web-Interface additional blocking information for IMEIs (local to Country) can be provided to the application.

 

Synchronisation & Management of Specific Stolen IMEI Device Lists (per Country)

The IMEI Module contains a separate management function for IMEI Numbers or ranges known to be stolen in Country.

IMEI information for stolen devices is provided and managed in a FDA specific Database and accessible via Web-Page.

The FAST Application will perform checks against the database and can alert, depending on the configured function the relevant operator, with the intention to block the customer or the mobile device.

 

Storage of XDR transaction in the internal xDR repository.

Incoming xDR data from the Country will be stored in the internal FDA xDR database for a configurable period (e.g. 20/30/x days)

During the import process an immediate check versus the IMEI White- and Blacklists (GSMA Lists and Niger Lists)  are performed

 

Business Intelligence Application for IMEI

The FAST application provides a set of specific reports to provide more insight into the usage of handsets within a specific network.

Based on a provided TAC List for every network, the usage of the different mobiles in the network is provided.

For every network the following statistics will be computed:

  • (A) # Number of active subscribers in each network derived from the IMSI
  • (B) # Number of different IMEIs used in each network derived from the IMEI
  • Top 100 handset brands/types allocated by TAC in each network.

Optionally these statistics can be provided in a time line.

Since IMEI usage data and the list of illegel IMEIs is kept in the internal FDA repository, additional applications could be integrated on demand: E.g. age of IMEIs in the network, rate of new IMEIs activated in the network, number of active IMEIs in the network.

The HotSpot Analysis will check and identify for every network a list of TopTen CellIds (Radio coverage) areas with highest usage of stolen IMEIs during the last 7 days.

These statistical evaluations will improve the understanding of the usage of mobiles in the country.

 

Import Verification function for Mobile/IMEI registration

In some countries the usage of Mobile Phones requires a registration process and possible a specific tax amount (VAT) needs to be paid by the importing entity.

E.g the FAST application can import the registration information and verify if mobiles not registered are visible in networks. This verification will off course exclude roaming visitors from other countries.

This verification process can start at any time. In case e.g. for the past the registration information is not available, then based on short-term historical data, FAST will keep an internal repository for every IMEI related its observed first use.

After a confidence period (e.g. 30 days) a registration verification process can be activated to verify if the new IMEIs to the network are valid or not.

This analysis will expose individual IMEIs out of “registered” range.

However, it is expected, that there is always a normal number of mobiles, which are not registered in each network. As such this application will expose trends of unregistered mobiles, their TAC origian and with additional customer data information, more detailed information can be provided back to the regulator to initiate measurements against illegal use of devices.

 

Alarming/Alerting Functionality

In the previous sections different black and whitelists have been introduced.

The FAST application can check incoming transaction data against violations of these lists.

In case invalid IMEI numbers are observed in a specific Country mobile network, than a message (email or SMS (via email gateway) is provided to the Country operator (or a set of operators), with the request to barr the specific IMSI or IMEI  observed in association with the IMEI for this network.

Optionally the detection and an alert can be based on multiple occurence of an illegal IMEI activity. (e.g. more than 10 transactions per day).

The thresholds can be configured in the application by demand of the ordering party.

Actually it is recommended that the Network operator blocks the subscribers in conjunction with a warning SMS to the subscriber, that a stolen handset has been used.

In some networks an IMEI barring list can be stored into the MSC/VLR so that no further calls with the given handset are possible. As such the FDA application will keep per operator the list of such barred IMEIs.

 

The FAST application will internally flag and store, that a warning indication has been provided to a specific subscriber. In case the IMEI/IMSI is observed after a configurable time delay (e.g. 24hours) again, IMEIs still active in the network with the same IMSI will be identified and statistical information is stored into a report. Depending on parameters to be provided by Reglator, additional escalation emails can be provided to the Country Operator, which in this case did not barr the specific IMSI in time.

IMEI cloning detection

The FAST application can verify, if identical IMEIs are used in different, distant network areas in parallel calls. For this analysis additional information should be provided by the network operator in form of a Cell to Geo-coordinate database. FAST will report pseudo-cloned IMEIs with irregular time/distance relationships.

 

Reporting of key data via the Web-Interface

The Web Interface of the application provides a set of specific reports, which can be extracted from a database.

On Daily and weekly Level per Operator and/or for all operators:

  • Report listing all detected IMEI violations, with time, number of transactions etc. in relation to GSMA Whitelist, Niger specific blacklist and related to usage in network
  • Total Reporting providing an overview about the total traffic associated with illegal IMEIs
  • Report listing IMEIs being reported to the operators, but not barred in the requested time frame. This report also contains the total volume of traffic associated with this IMEIs.
  • Cloned IMEI report

General Reports are:

  • IMEIs counted in total in Niger
  • Different IMEIs counted in every network
  • Number of new used IMEIs and TAC assignment during recent week in general and per individual network

Reports will be kept in the system for a period of at least 3 months.