A lot of unbranded and largely Chinese mobile phones were disconnected by mobile service providers today in India, due to invalid IMEI, fake IMEI, illegal IMEI numbers of these mobile phones. This follows a Government of India directive for security purposes, wherein mobile phones which do not have a valid IMEI number will no longer be connected to mobile networks.
As of Dec 1 2009, all the telecom operators are blocking such mobile devices and as per estimates, there are over 25 million such phones. So if you bought a cheap smartphone from the gray market, chances are high that it would have stopped working.
The rule has been implemented starting Dec 01 2009. This means that people having unbranded (or Chinese) mobile phones without a valid IMEI number will not be able to use them on any of the GSM networks in India.
According to a letter on Indian Cellular Association website:
- There is already a ban on the import of mobile phones with wrong IMEI. Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India already issued a Notification No.112 (RE-2008)/200-2009 dated 16th June 2009 to this effect.
- There is now a clear directive from Government of India directing Operators not to process and reject calls from mobile handsets IMEI numbers not available in the updated GSMSA database or without IMEI Numbers or all Zeros from 30.11.2009.
- As Cellular Service Companies in both prepaid and postpaid plans have to check IMEI on their computers. In the interest of security of nation the calls from mobile handsets with IMEI numbers not available in the updated GSMSA database or without IMEI Numbers or all Zeros are not to be processed and rejected
International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a unique 15-digit code on every GSM and WCDMA and iDEN mobile phone. You can type *#06# on your mobile and your IMEI number will be displayed.They advise that selling of any mobile phones without IMEI number or all zeros as IMEI number or fake IMEI number or fake/ cloned IMEI number is against national security and is illegal.
So what is the IMEI number? The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a unique 15-digit code on every GSM and WCDMA and iDEN mobile phone.
How can you find IMEI number of your mobile phone? Type *#06# and your IMEI number will be displayed.
How can you check authenticity of your IMEI number? Use this IMEI analysis tool, enter your 15 digit IMEI code and you can check all known information regarding manufacturer, model type, and country of approval of a handset. The Indian Cellular Association says users can SMS “IMEI 15digitnumber” to 57886 and the SMS reply will provide the brand name and the model number for which this IMEI number was originally allotted.
So why are Invalid IMEI numbers are harmful? IMEI number can be used to track a mobile phone. Terrorists and other anti social elements will not be able to use fake mobile phones over Indian cellular networks now. Thus, empowering the government to track them down when needed.