The Department of Telecom (DOT) in India has taken over the process to issue and manage IMEI allocation for mobile phones from Mobile Standard Alliance of India (MSAI). The process was being managed by MSAI, erstwhile reporting body of GSMA in India. The GSMA and MSAI has come under a lot of criticism for the mis-management and biased approach for IMEI allocation and management.
The IMEI number – a unique 15-digit serial number of mobile devices – is allocated by Industry Association body GSMA and organisations authorised by it.
DOT India Takes Over Mismanaged IMEI-Related Processes from GSMA & MSAI
When a mobile phone is lost, the customer is required to mention the IMEI number of the handset for tracking. The Department of Telecom (DoT) had issued a standard operating procedure in May 2015 to prohibit import of mobile phones with duplicate, fake and non-genuine international mobile equipment identity.
“The government has decided to replace the MSAI operated system and hence a new system, Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction (ICDR) system, has been developed by the Centre for Development of Telematics – R&D unit of DoT for implementing the SOP, ” the DoT said in a letter dated January 28, 2020 to industry bodies and concerned government departments.
The new system has been operationalised on pilot basis on the web portal of Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR). The CEIR is being used to block all services on stolen or lost mobile phones on any network even if the SIM card is removed or the IMEI number of the handset is changed.