The IMEI number is a unique number allocated to all the mobile phones that have been manufactured, and to those that are under production as well.
IMEI stands for (The International Mobile Station Equipment Identity), and an IMEI number is nothing but the unique number given to every mobile phone that’s being used, being sold, or being manufactured. The IMEI number is a standard 15 digit number which may be known to the user by looking in the battery compartment of the phone, where it is usually printed. The same can also be displayed on the screen by entering *#06# on the dialpad. Besides these, an IMEI number can also be given alongside other system information in the phone settings menu of a smartphone.
Typically, an IMEI number would look something like this: 358140-04-963592-5, the same can be broken down into:
TAC (Type Allocation Code) - 358140, which is issued by the BABT (British Approvals Board for Telecommunications), inclusive of the code number: 35 and the allocation number: 8140;
FAC (Final Assembly Code) – 04;
SNR – 963592;
CD – 5
Other than the above, the IMEI number can also be accompanied by an SVN number, which stands for the “Software Version Number”. In such an event, the IMEI number will then be called as the IMEISV number.
The purpose of an IMEI number comes from its main function of identifying each and every manufactured mobile phone by a unique number. This number provides an individual identity to all mobile phones. In case of a mobile phone being stolen, its rightful owner can use the IMEI number to block the thief from accessing a mobile network through the phone.
Additionally, the IMEI number of a mobile can also prove helpful in tracking a phone, in case of loss/theft. When a stolen or misplaced phone is switched on, its IMEI number is displayed on the local operator’s grid. This grid is known as the EIR (Equipment Identity Register), which has three lists namely: the white list, the grey list, and the black list. When it’s known that a phone has been stolen, it is immediately black listed. The phone will then be invalidated on the network it uses or all the other networks. The operator can also zero in on the location of the phone by using the Global Positioning System.
Therefore, it is always advisable for a mobile phone user to note somewhere safe the IMEI number of his instrument.
What is IMEI?