Beware: Chinese Mobile without IMEI Users

The fate of millions of Chinese mobile users is in dilemma. Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology have issued directives asking telecom operators to block all mobile phones who don't have IMEI No. IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique to every GSM, UMTS, iDEN as well as some satellite phones. The IMEI No. is printed on every mobile underneath the battery.

Let us understand what is IMEI Number and why it is important. The IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used to stop a stolen phone from accessing the network. For example, if a mobile phone is stolen, the owner can call his or her network provider and instruct them to "ban" the phone using its IMEI number. This renders the phone useless, whether or not the phone's SIM is changed.

Unlike the Electronic Serial Number or MEID of CDMA and other wireless networks, the IMEI is only used to identify the device, and has no permanent or semi-permanent relation to the subscriber. Instead, the subscriber is identified by transmission of an IMSI number, which is stored on a SIM Card that can (in theory) be transferred to any handset. However, many network and security features are enabled by knowing the current device being used by a subscriber. [Wikipedia]

The IMEI Number can be seen by typing *#06# in most of the mobile phones.

However millions of cheap Chinese Mobile Phones don't have IMEI number therefore it becomes difficult to trace the mobile phone which can be used by terrorists and criminals. This is the reason in the interest of National Security that Telecom Ministry has issued the directive of blocking such mobile phones without IMEI Number. Those who have purchased Chinese Mobile Number what will happen to them, is still a big question.There are around 25 million Chinese handsets without IMEI No. mostly imported from Thailand, China, Hongkong and Singapore. Around 25% of cellphone users in Delhi use Chinese Mobile Phones. So if Ban implemented the retailers expect in boost of sales of fresh mobile phones.

No comments: