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TWO FIRMS MUST QUIT EMULATING HANDSETS

PHOENIX-The U.S. District Court in Phoenix ordered One Line Cellular and Cell Phone Extensions to permanently discontinue altering, transferring, emulating or manipulating electronic serial numbers to create extension phones, U S West Cellular announced.

U S West filed charges against the two companies in August, requesting that they stop creating extension phones by programming legitimate ESN numbers into additional handsets.

The court stated that by emulating cellular telephones the defendants knowingly disobeyed Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations and U S West was harmed by the practice. The court ordered One Line Cellular and Cell Phone Extensions to produce all information about customers who are using extension phones programmed by them.

“U S West Cellular is pleased that the District Court in Phoenix has agreed with the FCC and other courts across the country that cellular extension companies are doing nothing more than committing cloning fraud,” said Tim Samples, the company’s vice president and general manager for the Southwest.

Cell Phone Extensions said it intends to appeal the decision.

U S West said it plans to contact customers using cloned extension phones and provide them with the option to convert the illegal phones to a legitimate cellular plan or discontinue service.

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