Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Study: No correlation between mobile phone use and cancer

By Alexander Villafania, INQ7.net

Filipino mobile phone users can rest easy knowing that their phones are not frying their brains.

A combined study by several British medical institutes have concluded that mobile phone use does not cause glioma, a common type of brain cancer once thought to be aggravated by extensive use of mobile phones.

Tests conducted on healthy mobile phone users who have different phone use patterns showed that glioma did not develop even in those who were heavy users of mobile phones.

The study was prompted by reports that glioma patients had an increased growth of their tumors on either side of their heads where they commonly used their phones.

The study was undertaken by the Universities of Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester. The London Institute of Cancer Research is also one of the researchers for the study and posted the results of the study in its website (http://www.icr.ac.uk/MobilePhoneGlioma.htm).

The group took four years to extensively examine possible correlation between glioma and mobile phone use. The British report also concurs with another study by the Swedish Interphone Study group formed by the Swedish Institute of Environmental Medicine and the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Friday, January 27, 2006

NTC, PNP to crack down on shops selling stolen cell phones

By Erwin Lemuel Oliva, INQ7.net

THE NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Philippine National Police will start cracking down on mobile phone retail shops, dealers, and repair shops allegedly selling stolen handsets this month, NTC Deputy Commissioner Jorge Sarmiento told INQ7.net Thursday.

The NTC and the PNP are set to sign an agreement towards closer coordination between them, to go after violators of Philippine anti-fencing laws with the sale of stolen handsets as "second-hand" units, Sarmiento added.

"The NTC met with PNP station commanders Wednesday to discuss ways how we can help each other run after people, dealers, resellers, and repair shops buying and selling stolen or snatched cell phones. A memorandum of agreement will be signed in two weeks between the two agencies that would signal the start of a nationwide crackdown," the NTC official said.

Local authorities have recently raided retail shops in a popular mall in Greenhills, San Juan, after they traced the stolen handsets of two local television reporters.

A distant cousin of Congressman Francis Escudero was also killed on January 19, 2006 during a cell phone-snatching incident, police reported last week.

The NTC has required last year cell phone retail and repair shops, as well as dealers, to register with the NTC, following the growing problem of cell phone theft in the Philippines.

The same NTC rules now require cell phone dealers and retail shops to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of each unit sold in the Philippines.

According to Webopedia, the IMEI is a unique number given to every single mobile phone, typically found on the battery’s back. IMEI numbers of cell phones connected to a GSM network are stored in a database containing all valid mobile phone equipment. When a phone is reported stolen or is not type approved, the number is marked invalid and the handset is blocked from a network. However, special software now allows tech-savvy people to tamper with a handset's IMEI – an act, the NTC rules say, is now illegal.

The NTC has been implementing a "blacklisting" system where stolen mobile phones are blocked on the basis of the 15-digit IMEI code.

Until formal agreement is inked between the agency and the local police, Sarmiento warns local shops to comply with NTC rules.

"We'll start cracking down on those have not registered with us in the meantime. After we sign the MOA, we'll go nationwide," the NTC official added.

He added that the NTC has been conducting an information drive since September 2005 in malls in Metro Manila, giving local shops and cell phone dealers a fair warning.

"With the recent developments, we're now asking the PNP to coordinate with us, and assist us in our crackdown," he added.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

NTC, NCRPO tackle sale of stolen phones

By Non Alquitran
The Philippine Star 01/26/2006

Top officials of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) met yesterday to add "more teeth" to the government’s effort to stop the sale of stolen cell phones in Metro Manila.

Officials agreed there is a need to conduct more raids on establishments suspected of buying and selling stolen units.

"We must be more aggressive in the campaign against these traders," Eastern Police District (EPD) director Chief Superintendent Oscar Valenzuela said following the meeting at the office of NTC Commissioner Ronald Solis in Quezon City.

Joining them at the meeting were Delilah Deles, NTC regional director for Metro Manila and the four other district directors of the NCRPO.

The NTC and the NCRPO said requirements for phone vending should be changed for the purpose of establishing the identity of the seller and the legitimacy of the transaction.

"The traders would be asked to report to police transactions involving the buying and selling of cell phones," Valenzuela said. "Sellers should be able to show proof of ownership."

The meeting stemmed from the case of two TV reporters whose stolen PDA phones were being sold at stalls of a shopping center in San Juan.

The NTC and the NCRPO would ask cell phone traders to execute a deed of sale in every transaction entered into. Joint teams would also conduct periodic inspections on establishments selling phones.

Valenzuela said violators would be charged with violation of the anti-fencing law, which carries a penalty of six months to six years imprisonment.

The EPD director also called on victims of theft to report the incident to the NTC so their phones can be included in the list of stolen units.

He said the NTC’s list would regularly be forwarded to traders to guide them in their transactions