Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Letter

File No.:  8665-C12-201211317

Ottawa, 17 July 2012

Bernard Lord
President and Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association
1110-130 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON
K1P 5G4

SENT BY EMAIL:  blord@cwta.ca

RE: Mobile Device Theft and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association Response

Mr. Lord:

Over the course of the past few months, the issue of mobile device theft has been reported in the Canadian media and the Commission is in receipt of two letters from MPs inquiring about the issue.

Commission staff is also aware that, in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in partnership with several police departments and several wireless carriers in the United States have initiated a plan to create a central database to track stolen and lost mobile phones and deny them voice and data service – essentially reducing the value of the device to the thief after it has been stolen.  As part of its rationale as to why it has chosen to act, the FCC cited the statistic that approximately one out of three robberies in the United States involves the theft of a mobile phone.

Though the issue has been reported widely by the Canadian media, Commission staff does not have a clear indication of the scope of this issue – information which would inform any future action that the industry and/or the Commission may choose to take in this matter.  Therefore, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is being requested to provide to the Commission, any statistics it may have, for the past three years, of the number of mobile devices reported stolen or lost to its members, broken down by province.

Furthermore, the CWTA is requested to describe what initiatives the wireless industry is undertaking to protect consumers from becoming victims of mobile device theft, especially in light of the fact that the industry is beginning to bring to market mobile devices that will act as “digital wallets”- the first of such initiatives announced this past May involving Rogers Communications Inc. and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

Commission staff appreciates the fact that those who perpetrate mobile device theft are not necessarily limiting their activities to national borders, and as such, Commission staff would ask that the CWTA describe, in its response to the above question, how the industry is considering international initiatives, such as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) database, in its strategy to combat mobile device theft. 

The CWTA is being requested to submit the above information by 13 August 2012.

This letter will be posted on the Commission’s website and the CWTA response and any subsequent correspondence will become part of a publically accessible file. For these reasons, if any documents filed contain information designated confidential, including personal information, such as full names, e-mail addresses, postal/street addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, please provide an abridged version of this information. 

Confidential documents submitted should follow this naming convention:  Not Web - Confidential - "brief description of the document". 

Abridged version of confidential documents submitted should follow this naming convention: Abridged version - "same description of document for which confidentiality is requested". 

Sincerely,

ORIGINAL SIGNED BY /

Stephen Delaney
Acting Executive Director
Policy Development and Research