Mobiles sans IMEI will stop ringing from today

The 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number helps security agencies trace calls made from and received on handsets.

The number, which represents the manufacturer’s name, and type of the phone is automatically registered with the mobile service provider as soon as the phone is activated.

In the wake of increased threat perception from terrorists, the Department of Telecom had asked operators not to allow calls to be completed on handsets without the IMEI number after November 30.

As per the earlier estimates, over 25 million handsets are in circulation without IMEI numbers.

After the government’s directive, GSM mobile operators lobby Cellular Operators Association of India was installing identity number on devices that never had these numbers.

However, since many users are yet to avail the number, operators feel the deadline should be extended.

A leading cellular operator, who wished not to be identified, expressed concern, saying: “Why subscribers are being penalised. They had purchased handsets from markets without knowing any such clause.”

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