Device Renewal Forum Addresses Stolen Phones Entering Device Renewal Supply Chain
Forum planning to incorporate industry approaches into renewal certification process
NEW ORLEANS, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Device Renewal Forum (DRF) today announced that it will address the issue of wireless device theft as it relates to the device renewal marketplace. Specifically, the group will take steps to prevent stolen smartphones from entering the device renewal supply chain and be sold into other markets. DRF will leverage many of the wireless industry's anti-theft efforts in its certification process to prohibit phones identified as stolen from being certified.
Law enforcement entities have reported an increase in crimes involving theft of wireless devices, especially smartphones, in the United States. The high resale-value of these devices make them a target for thieves, and the personal information stored in them creates an easy target for identity theft. Up to 30-40% of all robberies in major cities across the United States are related to cell phone theft. DRF's unique position in the renewed device supply chains will enable it to create a consistent industry approach to help curb these crimes by reducing the street value of stolen phones and preventing them from reentering the marketplace.
"We applaud DRF for taking on this complex issue and look forward to working with the industry on this important matter," remarked Mike Cost, senior vice president, Brightstar and founding member of the DRF.
In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on April 10, 2012, the PROTECTS Initiative to combat theft of wireless devices. The PROTECTS Initiative is voluntary, and has the support of major city police departments and the wireless industry.
As the FCC and CTIA announced broad goals to help curb the use of stolen phones, FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski said, "We have called on all countries to adopt the database and other solutions we're announcing today, and I am making it a priority of the FCC's international Bureau to work with other countries to advance this initiative."
"DRF applauds the recent FCC mandates, and we recognize that wireless device theft has now become a global issue," said Perry LaForge, chairman of the DRF. "We are seeing increasing evidence of devices being stolen in one market, sold to refurbishers, and then sold again into other markets. DRF's certification process, combined with industry approaches such as the PROTECTS Initiative, will assist in preventing this from happening."
"Consumer confidence is essential to create a thriving market for affordable and high-quality renewed technology," said David Edmonson, CEO of eRecyclingCorps and founding member of the DRF. "These safeguards mark an important step in protecting consumers and carriers from accidental involvement in criminal activity and building trust in renewed devices, while reducing the incentive for device theft and making our cities safer."
Wireless devices that meet the rigorous refurbishment, inspection and testing requirements established by the DRF will receive a Certificate of Acceptance and may bear the Certification Mark on their packaging. This designation certifies that the previous owner's private data has been wiped from the device, that it meets the requisite device function, performance and appearance standards, and will not disrupt, degrade or harm wireless network performance (e.g., reduce capacity, preclude roaming, etc.).
The DRF was formed and formally announced in February 2012 by Sprint, Brightstar, eRecyclingCorps, Moduslink and CDG to facilitate the renewal of wireless devices around the world.
The Device Renewal Forum is open to companies and organizations worldwide that want to make a positive and significant impact on the environment and the future of the wireless industry.
Device Renewal Forum (DRF) is a trade association formed to expand the growth of the renewed wireless devices market by establishing a global and technology-agnostic "gold standard" for renewing, testing and certifying refurbished wireless devices. The DRF's goal is to ensure that only high-quality and properly functioning devices reenter the marketplace. By using industry best practices to renew, test and certify refurbished wireless devices, the demand for affordable phones can be fulfilled, while preserving consumer expectations, wireless network integrity and the environment. Its member companies include many of the world's leading service providers, distributors, device manufacturers, resellers, recyclers and reverse logistics companies. For information about the DRF, visit www.DeviceRenewalForum.org.
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