Your phone’s IMEI number is more important in Nepal now. What’s it anyway?

Photo: flickr/ Kārlis Dambrāns

Nepal Telecommunications Authority, the country’s telecommunications regulator, has recently released a notice stating that all the mobile phone sets that have not been registered so far or brought illegally will be unusable from July 16. Although the registration process has now been halted due to excessive traffic on the system, it is expected to resume as soon as possible and the rule will come into effect later this week.

Since the registration of the IMEI number has been mandatory in Nepal now, let’s take the time to know what exactly an IMEI number is and what its uses are.

What is an IMEI number?  

Photo: nlink

An IMEI (international mobile equipment identity) is a unique 15-digit number that has been assigned to every GSM phone for identifying a device on a mobile network. The main purpose of the IMEI number is for the identification of the device while the secondary purpose is to prevent the use of the device if lost or stolen.

Who issues the IMEI number?

Photo: IMEI

IMEI numbers are produced by the GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association), an international organisation that oversees mobile operators worldwide. This organisation provides each mobile device manufacturer with a range of numbers to use for IMEIs on devices they produce.

What is the use of the IMEI number?

Photo: Quorra

Apart from identification, the IMEI number comes in handy when your mobile phone gets lost or stolen. It may not bring your phone back to you, but it will help in tracking and make sure whoever found or stole it will not be able to use the phone. A device can be blacklisted by the network carrier based on the IMEI number. This will make the device unable to make or receive calls or even be online using a cellular network even if they change the sim cards. Since IMEI numbers are hard-coded into the device hardware, this makes it nearly impossible to change them without somehow damaging the device itself.

The government as well as the device manufacturer can track you with the help of the IMEI number. If made public, even hackers can access your personal information with it. So, it would be wise not to share your IMEI number with anyone who is not trustworthy.

How to check your IMEI number?

Photo: UnlockPlus

If you have your original phone box, you will find a label on the back of the package that spells out the phone’s serial number and IMEI number. However, if you do not have the box with you anymore, there are various methods from which you can check the IMEI number of your phone. However, the methods may differ between Android and Apple.

Method 1
Photo: VIvo

This is the easiest way to know the IMEI number of your phone. All you have to do is go to the dialer of your phone and dial *#06# and the phone will display its IMEI number on the screen.

Method 2

On Android

Step 1: Go to your Settings

Step 2: Go to ‘About Phone’, in most cases, the IMEI number should be there along with the details of the phone.


Photo: iPhonetricks

Step 1: Open Settings

Step 2: Tap General > About and scroll down to locate the IMEI number.

Method 3
Photo: Macworld

In most smartphones that have a non-removable battery, the IMEI number is printed on the back of the phone while in some phones, the IMEI number can be seen on the sim tray as well. As for the phones with removable batteries, the IMEI number is usually printed under the battery.

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Subba was a tech and auto writer at Onlinekhabar until December 2022.

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