With rising cases of mobile phone snatching in the national capital, the Delhi Police is now planning to close ranks with internet service providers and the department of telecommunications to block stolen or robbed phones. This will be done by using the device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.


What is IMEI number?

  • The International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a unique number that is used to identify a device on a mobile network. It has 15 digits, and is like your phone’s unique identity.
  • When you use the internet or place a call through your cellular service provider, then this number is used to verify the identity of your device. If you have a dual SIM phone, then you will have two IMEI numbers, one for each slot.


How is it useful?

Its operational use aside, the IMEI number can help network providers track down a device in case it gets stolen or is lost. Once such loss or theft is reported, the carrier/s can deny the device access to the cellular network even with a new SIM card. This will practically render the device useless as it won’t be able to make or receive calls.



Mobile phones which do not have a flexible operating system can be broken into. There is a software that can change IMEI numbers of the phones as well. This might cause trouble for law enforcement agencies in blocking stolen devices.