The most important carriers in the US are working with the Federal Communications Commission to develop appropriate tools to fight against cellphone theft.
One of the projects consists of building a common database of mobile phones that are reported lost or stolen. Then, the carriers will block access to these phones on their networks.
The stolen phones will not receive voice or data service on the networks, which will decrease their resale value. Over time, it's hoped this will in turn decrease thefts.
Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, negotiated the creation of the database, being convinced that new methods are needed to fight smartphone thefts.
"New technologies create new risks. We wanted to find a way to reduce the value of stolen smartphones," said Genachowski. Currently, the theft of mobile devices is one of the fastest growing infractions in the US.
The database of stolen cellphones has been welcomed by police associations.
One of these pressure groups, The Major Cities Chiefs Association who has members in the US and Canada, published last month a proposal urging the Federal Communications Commission to convince the carriers to disable stolen mobile devices.