Custom Search
 


What lies beneath... does your phone has an IMEI number?
 
 
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number

An estimated 20 million phones went dead on December 1 by government fiat: Mobile providers were ordered to stop service to cell phones which did not have the unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.

Many entry level phones have been available in India -- mostly sourced from China -- without this 15 digit number that uniquely identifies the handset and helps track it. The cheapest sets in the market, mostly unbranded, and costing around a thousand rupees did not have a unique number: they mostly shared a number across thousands of handsets from one maker.

Government woke up to the need to track phones after the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and mandated that only phones with the IMEI could be served by telecom providers. The Cellular Operators Association of India ( www.coai.in ) and thr Mobile Standards Alliance of India (www.msai.in) set up over 1500 centres in India where subscribers could get an IMEI number retroactively allocated by paying Rs 199.

But indications are that only a tiny fraction of subscribers availed of there amnesty: so it has been one big switch off on December 1. Where does this leave millions who bought a phone legally without knowing that it lacked ann important identifier? We trust government will extend the window during which phone owners could obtain an IMEI number for their sets.

Those who bought these phones, overwhelmingly belong to the most resource -challenged sections of society: those who saved for months to buy their first phone. Why punish them because government woke up,late to the very existence of this number? We have a second more importan take: If the hope is that with all phones and their owners in India traceable, this will somehow neutralise terrorists who use them for their nefarious deeds -- that is wishful thinking. Baddies use phones ( not always their own) and throw them away after use.

And as the interrogation of a few suspects post 26/11, has revealed, such technology is always a shifting goalpost: terrorists have moved on to making Internet phone calls with services like Skype. So let's not disenfranchise 20 million Indians on the specious logic that this will somehow make us more terrorism proof.

The baddies are already working their way around this minor difficulty -- only the good and innocent are hassled.

PS: on GSM numbers you can get your IMEI number in India by dialing *#06#

Dec 2 2009




    


Post Your Comments Now
       
  Name  
  Email  
  Comment  
     
     
       
       
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by Mattie on May  28,  2011
  "That’s more than snesbile! That’s a great post!"
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by Mattie on May  28,  2011
  "That’s more than snesbile! That’s a great post!"
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by Lakesha on May  27,  2011
  "Great cmoomn sense here. Wish I’d thought of that."
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by Lakesha on May  27,  2011
  "Great cmoomn sense here. Wish I’d thought of that."
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by Lorrie on January  20,  2012
  "A spimle and intelligent point, well made. Thanks!"
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by Lorrie on January  20,  2012
  "A spimle and intelligent point, well made. Thanks!"
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by computer repair kit best buy on June  26,  2012
  "WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …"
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by Aryan on   30,  2012
  "Phone cards is not available or wokirng in Egypt only the phone cards that the local companies make is wokirng,so your phone card won't work.If you need cheap rates to call india, I recommend internet pc phone programs like Yahoo voice.It cost .79 $ per minute"
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by bookmarks on March  15,  2013
  "UPMYoy Great blog article.Really thank you! Will read on..."
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by bookmarks on March  15,  2013
  "UPMYoy Great blog article.Really thank you! Will read on..."
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by ciprofloxacin hcl on March  15,  2013
  "Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog article.Much thanks again."
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by ciprofloxacin hcl on March  15,  2013
  "Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog article.Much thanks again."
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by best social bookmarks on June  19,  2013
  "aLbGYl Thanks for the blog.Thanks Again. Really Cool."
     
The great switch off: 25 million phones go dead because they didn't have an IMEI number
by best social bookmarks on June  19,  2013
  "aLbGYl Thanks for the blog.Thanks Again. Really Cool."