The whole concept of IMEI numbers remains vague to many people. Several users do not understand the importance of these numbers or why it is there at all. It is common to believe that the numbers are a way the government keeps tabs on its citizens. Some believe that the government could use the number to hack the device, while some also believe they listen to the user’s conversations. There’s no limit to the thought process for this topic. With IMEI numbers, people let their imaginations run wild.
So now that we have cleared the air on some misconceptions about these numbers, what exactly is an IMEI number? It is simply a number that users can use to identify a device that uses terrestrial cellular networks.
A “terrestrial cellular network” is the network one uses to access the internet connection. Your cellular carrier provides this connection because of your data subscription. It is also the network one uses to place a call on a cell phone. People call it terrestrial because it does not use satellites to connect. It uses planet-side antennas instead.
One would usually find the IMEI number in the battery compartment. There are also codes one could use to get the device to display the number.
People typically use the IMEI number to blacklist devices. For example, cellular networks use the IMEI number to recognize devices that they still consider valid. In the same way, these networks can block a phone if they suspect that someone has stolen it. If a mobile device gets stolen, the owner can ask their network provider to block such a device. Again, this would be done using the IMEI number.
The moment a network blacklist a device, it would become unusable on that network and other networks.
A standard and original mobile device should have an IMEI number. It is a basic regulation when making mobile devices. The moment one notices a mobile device without an IMEI number, it is a major sign it is fake.
People who try to create knockoffs of popular phone brands might copy the hardware design but cannot assign actual IMEI numbers to their fake devices.
There is another reason a mobile device might not have an IMEI number, but no one has proven it yet. Top government officials that have to deal with classified information are always security conscious, and there are rumors that the devices they use do not have IMEI numbers. They do this to eliminate any likelihood of enemies tracing them through their mobile phones.