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Home > How To > IMEI number: what is it, how to find it and what is it used for?
IMEI number: what is it, how to find it and what is it used for?

IMEI number: what is it, how to find it and what is it used for?

By  Sophia Windsor 2019-06-15 4082 0

The IMEI number of a smartphone is a unique 15-digit identifier. It can be used to block or unblock a smartphone remotely, or more precisely to authorize or not the device on operators' networks. It is also thanks to this number that phones can make emergency calls even without a SIM card. Finally, it allows you to identify stolen smartphones, which is a help to identify such devices when you buy a used smartphone. Here's all you need to know.

What is the IMEI number?

The International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a unique number that identifies independently of the SIM card any device capable of connecting to GSM, UMTS and LTE networks. It gives operators more flexibility to increase the security of their smartphone fleets, in particular by allowing or not allowing devices on their network. But not only that. The IMEI also allows the operator to automatically know the type of device of its subscribers for technical, marketing and customer support purposes. Indeed, specific IMEI fields are assigned for manufacturer and model identification. Thus, if the operator supports it, it allows him to make an automatic detection of the terminal model.

What is the IMEI number used for?

In practical terms, this number makes it possible, in the event of theft, to prohibit the use of the device on the operators' network. During a complaint this number can be added to a black list, and calls become impossible even if you have a valid SIM card. However, this is not always effective: these databases are not always well connected to each other, and are mostly national or regional.

More recently, private sites are proposing to register users' IMEI numbers, especially when they are stolen. The advantage is that a buyer of a used smartphone can check that the IMEI number of his new device is not part of these databases, simply by entering the IMEI number of the smartphone in Google.

How to obtain the IMEI number?

Do you have the smartphone in your possession? There are several methods to get it regardless of the model or brand of your smartphone (even if it is a feature phone...):

● Dial *#06# in the Phone application

● Directly on an inscription somewhere on the phone (it is usually found under the battery when it is removable...)

● In Google's Find my Device application

If you no longer have the smartphone in your possession, the IMEI number can be found as follows:

● On the labels on the smartphone packaging and on the purchase invoice

● By asking your operator for it

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