The nation’s major wireless providers have agreed to a deal with
the U.S. government to build a central database of stolen
cellphones — part of a broad effort to tame an explosion of
The database, which the wireless companies will build and
maintain, will be designed to track phones that are reported as
lost or stolen and deny them voice and data service. The idea is
to reduce crime by making it difficult or impossible to actually
use a stolen device, reducing resale value.