Govt takes over IMEI-related processes from private body

The Department of Telecom has taken over the process to issue and manage IMEI allocation for mobile phones in India from the private body MSAI.

The IMEI number - a unique 15-digit serial number of mobile devices - is allocated by global industry body GSMA and organisations authorised by it. When a mobile phone is lost, the victim 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 process was being managed by Mobile Standard Alliance of India (MSAI), erstwhile reporting body of GSMA in India.

"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.