If a mobile phone gets lost, it not only results in an economic loss but also the loss of privacy of the mobile owner. In India, there are many thieves and cheaters who know how to change the default IMEI number of stolen smartphones. They do it using third-party applications like Android ID changer to tamper the default IMEI number.
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Number and it is a 15-digit number which uniquely identifies each mobile device. It is mainly used for distinguishing one mobile from another with ease.
In order to stop mobile cloning and theft across the country, the Telecom Ministry of India has decided to roll out the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR). CEIR is basically a database of IMEI’s numbers of all the mobile devices in India.
Once the CEIR gets rolled out, the owner of the smartphone can easily file a complaint by calling a helpline number to the Department of Telecom (DoT). On receiving the complaint successfully, DoT will blacklist the IMEI the number of the victims mobile. And after the IMEI number gets blacklisted, it will be impossible for anyone to use a SIM card of any telecom carrier in that stolen smartphone.
DoT has announced to start the rolling the CEIR in the month of July 2019. After this event, there is will be a considerable fall in mobile theft and cloning cases.
This implementation will also make the process of “IMEI based lawful interception” easy to handle. The IMEI number of the stolen device will be permanently blocked making the smartphone useless.
Indian is not the only country who is maintaining a database of IMEI numbers. Other countries like the UK, Australia, Egypt, Turkey, and Azerbaijan also maintain a registry of IMEI numbers.