Four major U.S. wireless carriers have reached an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission to work toward a centralized database to track and disable stolen mobile phones, reports “The Wall Street Journal” (

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, says the “WSJ.”

Presently, Verizon Communications and Sprint Nextel block phones that are reported stolen from being reactivated. AT&T and T-Mobile USA don’t. All four have agreed to be part of the new database, per the “Journal.”