Smuggled Google, Blackberry and Motorola phones to be disconnected in Iran

Smuggled Google, Blackberry and Motorola phones to be disconnected in Iran
Smartphone conversations in Iran are being cut short in midflow by anti-smuggling regulators.
By bne IntelliNews February 1, 2018

Google Pixel, Blackberry and Motorola phones illegally imported into Iran since December are to be disconnected from the country’s mobile networks, Iran’s Communication Regulatory Authority (CRA) has stated, the Financial Tribune reported on January 31.

The move is part of a drive to completely halt the import of smuggled phones, locally known as “suitcase imports” conducted by people travelling to regional countries.

The three brands were selected as part of a second round of disconnections to be performed by telecoms authorities. The brands have no official representation in Iran. As part of a new mobile registry programme, they are being targeted due to the low sales of their phon models.

Director of the Tehran Telecoms Union, Mehdi Mohebi, who is backing the move, said: “All newly activated Google, BlackBerry and Motorola phones have been screened since December 5, with smuggled handsets going offline next week.”

December last year saw some 25,000 smuggled Apple iPhones disconnected from Iran’s three mobile networks, the union official added. However, reports from traders suggested that older iPhones 5s had somehow slipped under the radar.

Iran is also set to charge nationals returning to the country with phones purchased abroad with an 18% levy at airports. The phones must also be registered with customs and the CRA.

The third phase of the mobile blocking scheme will target more popular brands, namely LG, Samsung and Huawei. Together, they account for more than 80% of local mobile device sales.

The plan is to fully implement the scheme by the next Persian calendar year, which starts on March 21.

Related Articles

Iran’s foreign minister questions “coincidence” of deadly suicide bomb attack on Guards same day Warsaw conference begins

A suicide bomb attack in southeastern Iran that on February 13 killed at least 27 Revolutionary Guards prompted the country’s foreign minister to ask whether the terrorism might be linked to the ... more

Nations that “don’t care about exemptions” will keep Iran’s oil exports at towards 1mn b/d: ex-Obama official

Iran will be able to sell an average 800,000 to 1mn barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil even if the US refuses to extend 180-day waivers allowing eight countries to continue taking its shipments ... more

Trump and Iran’s Zarif clash over “bad, bad things”

"They do bad, bad things," US President Donald Trump said of Iran in his February 5 State of the Union address to Congress. To which Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on ... more

Dismiss