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  • IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity)


    Each GSM and UMTS mobile phone has a unique IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. An IMEI number facilitates an important function – it easily identifies a mobile phone being used on a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network. The IMEI is a useful tool to stop a stolen phone from accessing a network being used. Mobile phone owners whose phones have been stolen can contact their mobile network provider and ask them to ban or shut off a phone using its IMEI number. With an IMEI number, the phone can be banned from the network quickly and easily. It is important to note that swapping a SIM card will not stop a phone from being banned.

    An IMEI device is only used to identify the device and does not usually relate to a specific individual or organization. Other numbers such as ESN (Electronic Serial Numbers) and MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifiers) can link an individual to a phone. Usually, an IMSI number stored on a SIM card can identify the subscriber on a network.

    There are a few ways in which a mobile phone’s IMEI number can be located, it can usually be found on the handset, beneath the battery, sometimes printed on a small white label. Another way to easily locate an IMEI phone is to dial the following sequence of numbers into the handset: *#06#. A Sony Ericsson mobile phone user can retrieve the IMEI by pressing the following key sequence: right,*, left, left,*, left, *, left.

    The Structure of an IMEI Number

    IMEI numbers either come in a 15 or 17 digit sequence of numbers. These numbers can identify a handset. Currently, the IMEI’s format is AA-BBBBBB-CCCCCC-D.

    • These two digits are for the Reporting Body Identifier, indicating the GSMA approved group that allocated the TAC (Type Allocation Code).
    • BBBBBB – The Remainder of the TAC
    • CCCCCC – Serial Sequence of the Model
    • D- Luhn Check Digit of the entire model or 0 (This is an algorithm that validates the ID number)

    Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)

    If a mobile handset is lost or stolen, the device’s owner/operator can contact the CEIR, which will blacklist the device in all currently operating switches. This makes the lost or stolen handset unusable. Blacklisting stolen mobile handsets is seen as a deterrent to crime. However, it is possible to change an IMEI with special tools and there are certain mobile networks that do not automatically blacklist handsets registered with the CEIR. Current statistics state that about 10% of current IMEIs in use today are not unique or have been reprogrammed (hacked).

    CEIR Handset Classifications

    ColorMeaning

    White Valid Mobile Station
    Grey Mobile Station to be tracked
    Black Barred Mobile Station

    Portions of this FAQ answer are taken from What is an IMEI?, part of the GSM Security FAQ.

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    11 comments
    1. samsung GALAXYSIII GT-19300 16

      24 October, 2014 at 3:53 am

      khosroasemani

      Reply
    2. samy

      21 November, 2013 at 5:32 am

      CAN YOU EMAIL ME UNLOCK CODE FOR SAMSUNG S8500 FROM BELL MOBILITY
      IMEI 35395004032345202
      MONTREAL CANADA
      skessous@msn.com

      Reply
    3. yako

      17 February, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      http://www.imei.info site gives you an opportunity to identify the phone model based on the IMEI number, this is probably the largest database of TAC which is publicly available …

      Reply
    4. dacha

      27 January, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      imei:
      357032040149926
      HTC  Wildfire A3333
      tnx !

      Reply
    5. Mulugeta M.

      22 January, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      my phone is alerady stolen.
      the IMEI no. 359808017139406.please send it to CEIR,to block it(to make useless)

      Reply
    6. viktor

      7 September, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      my cellphone has been stolen, pls help and if u can locate it 
      IMEI : 351544032441752
      ALCATEL OT 800 

      Reply
    7. ashok

      2 July, 2011 at 7:13 am

      can you please locate my cell phone
      Name: Ashok Mahendrakar
      Address: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hagari, Dist: Bellary, KARNATAKA
      Phone model:Samsung B3410
      Make:Samsung
      Last used No.:+91 8123874468
      E-mail :ashok.ashokblg@gmail.com
      Missed date:29-06-2011
      IMEI No.:356028041736985
      Thanking you in advance.
      ASHOK
      09481437531

      Reply
    8. Krupal

      25 February, 2011 at 6:11 am

      if you can help me, I want unlock code for
      IMEI: 359428.03.040285.3
      PIN: 21954455

      Reply
    9. Manish Roushan

      29 January, 2011 at 4:25 am

      I lost my cell having imei no 352699047696110 plz tell me how can i find?????????My alt.no is 09310455759

      Reply
    10. Elshinette

      20 December, 2010 at 10:57 am

      I lost my phone and reported it but the police keeps on telling me that they can find the guy that has the phone.

      My IMEI munber: 358027035482976

      Please help

      Reply
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