Gray phones in Ukraine. Is it worth buying?

    From time to time, information appears in the Ukrainian media that, they say, from day to day, certainly this year, operators will be obliged to disconnect the so-called gray phones. Someone believes that, they say, all the deputies and officials themselves go with “iPhones” and other phones that are not officially imported into our country, and therefore they will not disconnect anyone - they are not their enemies in reality. Still, someone is frightened by the prospect of disconnection, and he buys a “white” phone - for a clear conscience.

    But there are doubters like me, who are afraid of blackouts and do not want to overpay about 50% of the cost of a “gray” phone. Therefore, I’ll try to clarify the situation “how everything really is”. Maybe after that the choice will become easier.

    We call “gray” phones that are temporarily authorized for servicing in telecommunication networks. These are phones that have not been included in the white or black list of IMEI.

    According to the "Regulation on the granting of permits for the import from abroad into Ukraine of radio-electronic means and radiating devices" (dated 05.02.09 No. 1338), for the subsequent use on the territory of Ukraine of terminals of hundredth communication networks that are imported into Ukraine, their IMEI codes are registered in the generalized database of IMEI terminal codes maintained by the State Enterprise “Ukrainian State Center of Radio Frequencies” ( UGCR site ).

    The same site contains links to regulatory documents, according to which the sale of unregistered terminals in Ukraine is prohibited. But this does not interest us; these are sellers' problems.

    There you can find ways to register your phone yourself. This can be done if you submit documents to the UCRF that confirm the legality of importing a telephone into Ukraine. One of the three is suitable for this:
    1. customs declarations;
    2. declarations to the postal parcel;
    3. receipts from the store and a passport confirming that you were in the country where the device was purchased.

    In general, if you knowingly did not violate the law when importing the apparatus from abroad, there should not be any problems. But what to do when the device was purchased in Ukraine, but was neither certified nor registered in the IMEI database? I tried to contact several sellers (both with shops and with private ads) that sell similar devices. It goes without saying that they could not provide any documents confirming the legality of importing a telephone into Ukraine. But the proposal is very "tasty." For example, at the time of writing this text, the Sony Xperia S smartphone without registration can be found for 3200-3300 UAH, and with registration this device will cost an average of 5000 UAH. Overpayment is 50% of the cost of an unregistered phone.

    What shines for us to use an unregistered device, we can find in the " Rules for the provision and receipt of telecommunication services ":
    21. When a subscriber’s terminal equipment is connected to a telecommunications network of a mobile operator, whose electronic code (identifier), in particular the IMEI code, is not included in the generalized database of such codes, the operator must send a warning to the telephone number of such equipment about shutdown with reasons. Disabling by the specified operator of the final equipment is carried out in accordance with the law.

    Then I tried to find the “legislation” according to which the operator can turn off an unregistered phone. The only and the most recent that I found is Bill No. 9695 of January 12, 2012, initiated by MPs Yuriy Moroko (PR) and Vitaliy Korzh (BYTB) on amending the Law of Ukraine “On Telecommunications” regarding the prevention of the use of terminals, the legality of import which on the territory of Ukraine is not confirmed. Thus, the current legislation does not establish a procedure for disconnecting unregistered phones .

    According to the above document:
    1. A terminal is serviced in telecommunication networks if it has an identifier in the identifiers database or in the database of terminals temporarily authorized for servicing in telecommunication networks.
    2. In case of failure to confirm within 90 calendar days from the date of the first registration in the telecommunication network of a terminal whose identifier was not in the identifier database of the legality of origin of this terminal in Ukraine, the identifier of this terminal is automatically transferred from the database of terminals temporarily authorized for servicing to telecommunication networks, to the database of terminals not authorized for servicing in telecommunication networks.
    3. Entering the identifiers of stolen or lost terminals into the database of terminals that are not allowed for servicing in telecommunication networks is carried out by the UCRF on the proposal of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. The procedure for submitting and entering identifiers of stolen or lost terminals into the database of terminals that are not allowed to be serviced in telecommunication networks is determined by the national commission, which carries out state regulation in the field of communications and information, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

    That is, in the case of the adoption of this law, gray phones will really be turned off . But at the end of the bill we find very interesting final provisions:
    1. This Law shall enter into force on March 1, 2012.
    2. All identifiers of terminals serviced in telecommunication networks as of March 1, 2012 and corresponding to the international format, according to the submission of the respective operators, are entered into the identifiers database by March 15, 2012.
    3. The National Commission implementing state regulation in the field of communications and informatization, within three months to bring its regulations into line with this Law.

    The choice of the “amnesty” date for gray devices on March 1, 2012 is clear: the bill was registered on January 12 of this year. Probably, the authors expected that they would have time to consider and accept it. But the profile committee returned the bill to parliament only on April 24, and it was included on the agenda on September 6 for consideration at the 11th session of parliament, which is taking place now. At the same time, the committee indicated that the bill needs to be finalized, and for a start it should be adopted only in the first reading and sent to prepare for the second reading. That is, the adoption of the law is postponed for an indefinite period .

    But it was important for me to see in this bill that an “amnesty” was provided for gray apparatuses and it was tied to the day the law came into force. Which leaves hope that this will be the case in the final version of the law that has been enacted.

    Actually, I was forced to try to understand this topic by fear for the possible shutdown of the gray device. Before that, I only bought white devices, but the price difference was not so great. I would like to know the opinion of the community on this matter. I know that a lot of people buy gray devices and firmly believe that they will not be turned off, without particularly going into the intricacies of the legislation.

    I ask a question to those who prefer to buy white devices. Knowing now the current version of the future law, would you buy a gray phone?

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