Uses of Mobile Authenticators

Mobile Authenticators are Universal identifiers or authenticators for a specific device. They are assigned to a device at the time of manufacture. ESN or electronic serial number is used in United States to identify device using CDMA wireless network. MEID numbers are used in GSM and UMTS cell phones. It is a 14 digit number. It is also known as mobile equipment identifier. The international mobile station equipment identity or IMEI identifies devices that run on GSM is a wireless technology used by mobile devices.

Ways of knowing identification number of any device.

  1. Using phone dialer –
    In most cases if *#06# is dialed on telephone dialer and called upon, IMEI number will be visible to user.

  2. Using the settings option –
    IMEI or ESN numbers can be written in search bar and looked up for results. IMEI number can also be searched through settings option on mobile phones. Settings contain information about entire device and entire device can be configured using this. IMEI information can be looked up in ‘about phone’ section of settings.

  3. Physically on the mobile phone –
    IMEI number is also available on device. It can be located either on battery, SIM or memory slot compartment of mobile phones. If battery is removable, then removing battery would expose IMEI number or MEID number.

Uses of IMEI, IMEI and ESN numbers on a mobile phone.



  1. Loss or theft of Mobile Phones –
    These numbers are invaluable in mobile industry for blacklisting a mobile phone in case there is theft or loss of mobile phones. A person who has lost his phone or whose device has been stolen can request his operator to blacklist phone which word in turn render phone useless and it would not be able to connect to any kind of wireless service, or used for any communication.

  2. Warranty Benefits –
    These numbers help telephone companies to identify exact date and time of first usage of mobile phones. This helps in claiming warranty benefits of mobile.

  3. Defect Identification –
    These authenticator are specific to mobile phones. They can be used to track cell phones in case of any manufacturing defect. This can be done using IMEI number. This information is used to create a defect list of identification numbers. When such defective pieces reach service centers, for warranty claims, their claims are resolved easily as manufacturer already knows that these have a manufacturing defect (and they are listed in internal defect log of a company.).

  4. Buying used Mobile Phones –
    These numbers are also used in case of buying used mobile phones. In case they have ‘bad MEID or a bad IMEI or bad ESN number, this means that this cannot be connected to any sort of wireless service . This is a very important point or note, as if such a device is bought, it cannot be used for any kind of internet or calling. This mobile phone can only be used for hardware parts components that it contains (that can be reused).

  5. Human Error prevention –
    These numbers can also be used to protect us from any misplacement or error in case of of mobile phones that we receive after repairs that are sent to service centers. It is important to check for IMEI number to know if it is same device that was sent for repair.

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