Mobile firms launch lobbying push

Mobile phone companies have launched a lobbying offensive ahead of legislation to reduce handset theft.

The Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum, the group set up in the early 1990s by network operators and handset-makers to tackle escalating mobile phone crime, has hired Consolidated Communications as the Mobile Telephones Reprogramming Bill makes its way through parliament.

The legislation will make it an offence to reprogramme a mobile's identity number with the possibility of a five-year jail term and unlimited fines.

It receives its second reading in the Lords this week and is expected to become law by the autumn.

Consolidated PA director Ed Vaizey said: 'Although it has broad support there are details involving technology that operators are keen to be involved with.'

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