Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mobile Phone Requires IMEI Number To Work From 1st December

All mobile phones are assigned a unique 15 digit IMEI code upon production. Does your mobile phone has the IMEI code? You are in trouble if it doesn't, as the  Department of Telecom (DOT) , Ministry of  Communications and Information Technology, Government of India has directed  the Cell phone operators to disconnect mobile phone handsets  without the legitimate International Mobile Equipment Identity  (IMEI) number from December 1 this year. Concerned over the threat to national security, the DOT has asked operators to crack down on duplicate or  illegal or China-made cheap handsets, which do not bear any IMEI code. It is estimated that there are about 25 million handsets without IMEI number.
But what is this IMEI number and Why is it so critical? 
The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a 15-digit code that can be displayed on GSM [Global System for Mobile communication] and   UMTS [Universal Mobile Telecommunications System] mobile handsets. Mobile phone companies are able to use this IMEI  number to identify valid subscribers and also use the number to remotely disable the phone in the event it is stolen or reported lost. IMEI number is an important tool for the handset tracking by the cell phone operator who could identify a mobile and helps prevent use of stolen handsets for making calls by enabling security agencies to track down the specific user. No two mobile handsets in the world should have the same IMEI number.
How to Find the IMEI Number on a Mobile Phone? 
  1. Ensure your phone is powered on. 
  2. Return to the "idle" screen, or your "desktop". If you were in the middle of a call, end it, and clear any numbers you pressed while making that call. 
  3. Press the following keys [five characters] one by one: * # 0 6 #  
  4. As you press on the last #, a number will appear with the title, IMEI number or Serial Number or similar. 
  5. If you store this *#06# as a phone number in your contacts with the some name, say, IMEI Code, then next time when you dial IMEI Code from your contacts, it will show you the IMEI Number. That way you won't forget the *#06# sequence.
Alternative Method To Identify IMEI 
  1. Ensure the phone is powered off.  
  2. Remove the battery. 
  3. Look on the phone for a white sticker/label, which would be now exposed after removing the battery, for the IMEI. It would be 15 or 17 digits not including a few forward slashes included and without any letters. Only the first 15-digits are needed. 
  4. If the phone is not available or if the label is unreadable then have a look at the phone manufacturer's packaging for a white sticker/label. Near one bar code or another the IMEI would also be printed.
  • Store your 15-Digit IMEI Number in a safe place, so that you could find it if your phone is stolen. 
  • If your mobile phone is stolen, call or go to the nearest service center of your mobile network, and give that IMEI number to staff and ask them to block that number for a period of time, so no one can use your mobile phone for any illegal purpose. 
  • You are required by laws of the land to report about loss or theft to your Service Provider (Mobile Network) and to the Police station of your locality. It will be blacklisted across ALL networks so that it can't be used for criminal activities. If it is recovered, it is possible to de-blacklist it providing you have proof of ownership. 
  • Get Analysis of your Mobile IMEI numbers at  You can check all known information regarding manufacturer, model type, and country of approval of a handset.
My example:
I tried a simple method  to  verify whether the serial number displayed on my handset was a genuine one and not a cloned or duplicate or fake number. I typed the word IMEI followed by space and then typing the actual 15 digit number and SMS to 57886 at 7-30 am today. I  received a reply  by around 7-00 pm with the following SMS:

"Valid IMEI: This IMEI belongs to Nokia Corporation-6080. If your mobile is not the above mentioned model, please note that it is illegal to use cloned / duplicate mobile phone."