What is the IMEI of a mobile and what is it for

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Alejandra Rangel
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What is the IMEI of a mobile and what is it for

Did they steal your device? Have you lost it? Read here

Most likely you have already heard ofIMEI, or you may have seen it on the packaging of your mobile phone, but you do not know what it can be used for. First, we suggest you write down that strange number of somewhere 15 figures. Reason? There is no other like it, and it identifies your device by make, model and serial number.





L'International Mobile Equipment Identity, for the sake of brevity IMEI, is a number consisting of 15 digits, as we have just written, in which the 15th allows you to verify the entire string. There is a variant a 16 figures (IMEISV, where SV is going to Software Version) where the last digit gives information about the software version of the device.  

Since 2004 the IMEI is in the format AA-BBBBBB-CCCCCC-D. Sections with A and B are known as Type Allocation Code (TAC), and identify the manufacturer and model of the smartphone or tablet. Some models have multiple TACs (the iPhone 5C has as many as five, for example). The six digits C represent the serial number of the device, and are defined by the manufacturer. There D is a check digit that guarantees compliance with the guidelines set out in this document.

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Where is the IMEI located?

In addition to the packaging of the device, you can find out by typing on the phone * # # 06. The number will immediately appear on the screen. Also, on one device iOS you can get it by tapping Settings> General> Aboutwhile on Android it is generally found below Settings> About> Status. And if your device's battery is removable, the IMEI is often right underneath it.


What is it for?


The main purpose is to provide a unique identification for each device on the market, as is the case with the chassis number of cars. The IMEI is completely separate from the number of the SIMs., and it cannot be changed. When connecting to a cellular network, your carrier acquires both to enable the service. The SIM number therefore identifies the subscription, while the IMEI only provides the device data.


My cell phone has been stolen, what do I do?

If your smartphone or tablet is stolen, you can contact the telephone operator who will immediately block the IMEI (and will communicate it to other operators), preventing it from being used by others to connect to the network. While it is illegal to replace a device's IMEI, thieves do so to apply it to other stolen devices, making them usable again. It is obvious that it is a good idea not to share it with anyone, least of all on the Internet, to avoid nasty surprises.


A good idea, to locate a stolen or even lost device, could be to install the app on Android Find My Device produced by Google. This app allows you to locate its position, play a sound or even block it.

A valid, and richer in features, alternative is given by Prey, also available for iOS.

Users of iPhone have the function Find my iPhone already built into the operating system. We recommend that you follow the Apple instructions available at this address.

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