It is no longer news that the call by the Nigerian Communications Commission for all Nigerians to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity of their phones to the commission has evoked a lot of reactions.
While some claimed it was a violation of human rights, a few persons see it as an infringement of privacy, while others do not know much about their phone’s IMEI.
Well, here’s what you should know about your phone’s IMEI.
What is the IMEI number?
The IMEI number is a unique identification number that allows the registration of any mobile device.
The IMEI of a device thus enables a mobile telephone operator to identify it. With the IMEI number, the operator will be able to issue the authorization for the user to connect the phone to a mobile network.
Each mobile phone has its own IMEI number and this code consists of 15 to 17 digits.
Each digit of the IMEI number corresponds to specific information:
• The first two digits identify the country where the mobile device was manufactured.
• The next six digits correspond to the serial number of the device.
• The lasts digits are used to authenticate the IMEI code as a security key.
What is the IMEI for?
• Device unlocking
Your phone’s IMEI number unlocks your device for use with all mobile networks. The IMEI number is used to unblock your mobile phone so that it works with the network of another mobile phone operator.
If you buy a smartphone through an operator with a mobile plan, very often, this phone can only work with the network of this operator.
In this case, the mobile phone is ‘blocked’ to other network operators.
To unlock your mobile phone and thus use it with the network of another operator, it is necessary to provide its IMEI code to the operator who sold you this smartphone.
The latter can then provide you with the unlocking code to unlock your smartphone.
• Device blocking
Conversely, the IMEI code also allows you to request the blocking of your mobile in the event of theft or loss of the phone to avoid fraudulent use.
When you use the IMEI number to block your smartphone, the device becomes unusable.
This is why it is important to write down the IMEI code of your phone in a safe place, in order to quickly block your phone, in the event of theft or loss.
• Stolen device detection
The IMEI number also allows you to know if a mobile has been stolen. In particular, it is recommended that you check the list of blacklisted IMEIs when buying a used phone from a private individual.
This list is available on the Internet and therefore makes it possible to ensure that the mobile you wish to acquire has not been stolen and blocked.
How can you get the IMEI of your phone?
To get the IMEI of your phone, you must dial *#06#