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Indian government bans import of mobile handsets with fake or duplicate IMEI numbers



Government has prohibited imports of all kind of mobile handsets with fake or duplicate unique identity numbers, a move that will help security agencies in tracking callers using different sim cards, Reports PTI.

The unique number helps in tracking mobile phones. The move aims to check proliferation of mobile handsets with duplicate or cloned IMEI numbers, which are dangerous for national security.

Union Government on 19 January 2015 prohibited imports of all kind of mobile handsets with fake or duplicate Unique Identity Numbers. The decision will help the security agencies to track callers using different SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards.

Director General of Foreign Trade in its notification added GSM mobile handsets with duplicate or fake IMEI and CDMA mobile handsets with duplicate or fake ESN (Electronic Serial Number)/MEID (mobile equipment identifier) to the list of Prohibited items for import.

Earlier, import of mobile phones with or without 00…00 IMEI numbers were banned but this order places bans on duplicate handsets as well.



International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number
IMEI number is a unique 15-17 digit number which is used by GSM network to identify validity of the devices on a cellphone or mobile. These numbers are helpful in tracking the mobile phones.

Electronic Serial Number (ESN)
Electronic serial numbers (ESNs) is a unique identification number that every cellular phone has and is assigned by the specific manufacturer. It helps in authenticating the validity of the phone in respect to the cellular service the phone is attempting to use. These numbers are used in CDMA phone sets.



Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID)
MEID is a unique number that identifies a wireless handset. This system replaced the electronic serial number (ESN) system in 2006 this helps to activate a phone with a carrier that requires your phone’s unique identifier in a specific format.



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