The code IMEI is the International Mobile Equipment Identity (or International Mobile Equipment Identification, in Portuguese). It is a unique and global numerical code, present in devices that connect to cellular networks, such as smartphones, tablets and 4G or 5G modems. Making an analogy with automobiles, the IMEI is equivalent to the chassis number of a car, and is used as an ID.
What is the IMEI used for?
The IMEI serves as a “fingerprint” of cell phones, and allows operators to identify devices connected to their mobile network.
Despite being used by mobile operators, IMEI is a code associated with the cell phone, not the chip. SIM Cards have their own serial number, called an ICCID.
It is worth noting that, even though it is a unique code and used as a serial number by operators, the IMEI is different from the serial number assigned by cell phone manufacturers🇧🇷 In this way, each company uses its own number to identify its devices for control and warranty purposes.
The IMEI is a device identification code and carries information such as the device manufacturer and mobile device model. This can be consulted in IMEI checker websites🇧🇷
Other than that, the code doesn’t reveal any more information to regular users. It is not possible to identify the owner of a cell phone just by the IMEI, for example, but it is possible to consult the code in the Anatel database and check if it is registered as an irregular device. This action can be an extra layer of security when buying a pre-owned device or an unknown store.
Finding a Cell Phone’s IMEI
In addition to dialing the traditional code *#06#, there are several ways to find out the IMEI number of a smartphone, even without the cell phone in hand (as in cases of theft or loss). Learn it how to find out the IMEI of a cell phone in our full article on the topic.
Can a cell phone have two IMEI numbers?
Your cell phone can have two IMEI numbers when it supports two simultaneous lines, either with two entries for two SIM cards or through the eSIM virtual chip🇧🇷
To find out which IMEI to use, pay attention to the chip slot: IMEI 1 is usually directed to SIM 1, while IMEI 2 is generally used by SIM 2 or eSIM.
If you want to block the IMEI of a dual SIM device, be sure to block both serial numbers. Otherwise, the device will continue to function partially.
Is it possible to change the IMEI of a cell phone?
The IMEI is considered a serial number, and therefore should not be changed by the owner. Legitimately, only the manufacturer of a smartphone and its authorized technical assistance can change the IMEI of a cell phone, especially if there has been a repair on the main board.
Some technicians and applications manage to change the IMEI number of a cell phone, but the practice is illegal for violating a serial number. Therefore, it is not recommended to perform this procedure, as operators can identify tampering and block the device.
Can two cell phones have the same IMEI code?
Theoretically, the IMEI is a unique identification code for each cell phone. However, it is possible that more than one device has the same code — this is the case of cloned or pirated cell phones, which do not receive certification from bodies such as Anatel and can disrupt the operation of mobile networks.
Through the Celular Legal project, Anatel combats the use of illegal, pirated, cloned and uncertified handsets accepted by Brazil. These devices are blocked and are prevented from getting a signal from mobile operators.
Checking the IMEI status of a mobile phone
If there is any blocking of IMEI, the cell phone is prevented from establishing a network connection with mobile operators, making it impossible to make calls, exchange SMS and use the mobile internet.
find it out how to query a cell phone’s IMEI in the Anatel database, and check if there is any impediment associated with a device.
Blocking a cell phone’s IMEI
If you had your device lost, stolen or stolen, learn how to block cell phone IMEI🇧🇷 This restriction prevents the smartphone from connecting to the networks of mobile operators and discourages the use of products without proper origin.
Who can block cell phone IMEI?
IMEI blocking can be requested by the owner of the mobile line. The procedure can be requested directly from the operator, or, in some states, from the Civil Police.
What happens when a cell phone is blocked by IMEI?
When the IMEI is blocked, the cell phone is unable to connect to the networks of mobile operators. Therefore, the smartphone has no signal and cannot be used to make calls, exchange SMS or use mobile internet.
However, blocking the IMEI does not prevent the device from continuing to function for other features, including accessing the internet via Wi-Fi. Had your cell phone stolen? See what else to do to protect your data🇧🇷
Can I unlock the IMEI of a cell phone?
If you recovered a lost or stolen device, you can request the removal of the restriction to your operator by means of identification and invoice of the device. Check the procedures of each company and learn how to unlock a cell phone’s IMEI🇧🇷
Can I track my cell phone by IMEI?
The IMEI is just a device identifier code, and therefore cannot be used by ordinary people to track a cell phone, regardless of whether the device is connected to a mobile network or Wi-Fi.
Only mobile operators can check the approximate location of a mobile via IMEI, as long as it is connected to their network. However, this information cannot be easily accessed; the teles only release this data upon judicial request.
It is worth remembering that it is possible to locate a smartphone through platforms such as Find My iPhone (Apple) and Find My Device (Google)🇧🇷 See other alternatives and find out how to track a stolen cell phone🇧🇷
What does null IMEI mean?
If the message IMEI null appears on your cell phone, it means that the IMEI code is zeroed and it is impossible to connect to a cellular network. This can happen due to some hardware failure or incorrect manipulation of system files.
In cases like this, when there are problems with the identification code, it is advisable to seek technical assistance authorized by the manufacturer of your cell phone.