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IMEI – International Mobile Equipment Identity

Colour photo showing Nokia 2310 mobile phone b...

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Every phone has a unique number called an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) which is made up of the TAC (Type Allocation Code) and a serial number called the SNR. The TAC identifies the phone manufacturer and model, and there can also be several different TACs for the same model phone. Prior to 2004 the TAC consisted of the first 6 digits of the IMEI, since then the TAC is allocated the first 8 digits. The TAC is followed by the 6 digit SNR and a 1 bit checksum, which makes the IMEI a 15 digit number in modern phones, and a 13 digit number in older (pre-2004) phones.

Since the IMEI is a unique identifier, network operators can use this to identify devices on their network, and in cases where one is reported stolen, the operator may block the device from their network by placing the IMEI on a “blacklist”. The IMEI structure is explained more in 3GPP TS 23.003 and can be downloaded here: 23.003

Check your phone IMEI number using command

1. Turn ON your mobile phone.
2. Make sure you are on Home screen.
3. Type *#06# and press OK / call button.
4. Your phone IMEI number will show as “Serial Number:XXX”. Here XXX is 15-17 digit number which is unique for every mobile phone.

Check IMEI number underneath battery

1. Turn OFF mobile phone.

2. Open the case and remove the battery.


IMEI Lookup

If you want to check your IMEI information please click here.


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