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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 bein! used on a GSM (Global System for Mobile "ommunications) net#or$. The IMEI is a useful tool to stop a stolen phone from accessin! a net#or$ bein! used. Mobile phone o#ners #hose phones ha%e been stolen can contact their mobile net#or$ pro%ider and as$ them to ban or shut off a phone usin! its IMEI number. &ith an IMEI number' the phone can be banned from the net#or$ quic$ly and easily. It is important to note that s#appin! a SIM card #ill not stop a phone from bein! banned. An IMEI de%ice is only used to identify the de%ice and does not usually relate to a specific indi%idual or or!ani(ation. )ther numbers such as ES* (Electronic Serial *umbers) and MEI+ (Mobile Equipment Identifiers) can lin$ an indi%idual to a phone. Usually' an IMSI number stored on a SIM card can identify the subscriber on a net#or$. There are a fe# #ays in #hich 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 #hite label. Another #ay to easily locate an IMEI phone is to dial the follo#in! sequence of numbers into the handset- ./01/. A Sony Ericsson mobile phone user can retrie%e the IMEI by pressin! the follo#in! $ey sequence- ri!ht'.' left' left'.' left' .' left.

The Structure of an IMEI Number
IMEI numbers either come in a 23 or 24 di!it sequence of numbers. These numbers can identify a handset. "urrently' the IMEI,s format is AA56666665""""""5+. • These t#o di!its are for the 7eportin! 6ody Identifier' indicatin! the GSMA appro%ed !roup that allocated the TA" (Type Allocation "ode). • 666666 The 7emainder of the TA" • """""" Serial Sequence of the Model • +5 8uhn "hec$ +i!it of the entire model or 0 (This is an al!orithm that %alidates the I+ number)

Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)
If a mobile handset is lost or stolen' the de%ice,s o#ner9operator can contact the "EI7' #hich #ill blac$list the de%ice in all currently operatin! s#itches. This ma$es the lost or stolen handset unusable. 6lac$listin! stolen mobile handsets is seen as a deterrent to crime. :o#e%er' it is possible to chan!e an IMEI #ith special tools and there are certain mobile networks that do not automatically blac$list handsets re!istered #ith the "EI7. "urrent statistics state that about 20; of current IMEIs in use today are not unique or ha%e been repro!rammed (hac$ed).

CEIR andset Classifications "olorMeanin! &hite <alid Mobile Station Grey Mobile Station to be trac$ed 6lac$ 6arred Mobile Station Portions of this FAQ answer are taken from &hat is an IMEI=. part of the GSM Security FAQ. .