Feeds

Spain cuts off 3m pre-pay mobiles

Mass failure to register phones

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Spanish mobile operators last night cut off an estimated three to four million pre-pay mobile phones whose owners had not followed government instructions to register their devices.

The mandatory scheme - in which all pre-pay mobiles have to be assigned to an ID document - was a reaction to the terrorist attacks of 11 March 2004, where the perpetrators used such phones to activate bombs on several trains in Madrid, killing 191.

As of this morning, anyone who didn't toe the line will, when they try to make a call, be met with a recorded message telling them their number's up. Incoming calls are blocked too, although the phones will still be able to access the 112 emergency number.

Given the scale of the non-compliance, the government has agreed with Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange to give punters another six months to cough their details. The operators will reconnect the phone and reimburse any lost credit when owners do the right thing.

According to El País, the pre-pay total on all the disconnected phones could be around €25m. Those who don't take the second chance to register their phone within six months, either by contacting their operator direct or in a mobile phone retail outlet, will definitively lose both the number and any outstanding credit. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Will BlackBerry make a comeback with its SQUARE smartphones?
Plus PC PIMs from company formerly known as RIM
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.