Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has launched a campaign aimed at educating consumers on the health risks associated with the use of counterfeit mobile phones.
The regulator said there has been a global increase in the use of counterfeit phones, which poses a challenge to telecoms operators.
“Counterfeit phones pose a risk as they have not been tested and as such do not meet the international safety standards applied by the legitimate phone manufacturer,” the TRA said.
The new campaign aims to protect consumers from the potential risks caused by using fake devices due to their poor quality and low efficiency, and which also serve to undermine the communications networks in the Sultanate.
Consumers are advised to purchase mobile phones only from authorised dealers. These dealers go through TRA type approval procedures on their import of telephone devices into the Sultanate, meaning consumers can be guaranteed they are purchasing a legitimate device.
“Such equipment and devices are also marked with the TRA name stamp, and the consumer should look for this stamp before proceeding with their purchase,” the TRA said.
“This campaign comes at a time when the counterfeit phone phenomenon is witnessing a significant increase along with a rise in consumers’ complaints on lower quality and a shorter lifespan of their phones,” said Mohammed Al Kindi, executive manager for regulation and compliance at the TRA.
“To combat this the TRA has contacted the GSM Association to develop technical solutions to reduce counterfeit phones in the local market.”
The TRA will also guide consumers in the Sultanate on how to use the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to ascertain whether the phone device they intend to purchase is indeed an original device and not counterfeit.