IMEI dilemma cleared, Telcos at fault

CIOL Bureau
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NEW DELHI, INDIA: GSM Association and Mobile Standards Alliance of India (MSAI) cleared the confusion caused by some telecom companies that cleared some mobile phones with invalid International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, as genuine ones.


In an e-mail interaction with CIOL, GSMA mentioned that the reported TAC to which IMEI number 350077108255310 belongs, is not present in the GSMA database and hence it is not a Genuine IMEI number.

“We have noted the inquiry and having made the necessary checks we can confirm that the TAC has never officially been allocated from within the GSMA TAC allocation system and should not be used by any device manufacturer," replied Claire Cranton, director, media relations, GSMA.

This is in contradiction with the statement made by Reliance Communication which claimed that the above-mentioned IMEI number is present in GSMA database.


On the other hand, MSAI mentioned to CIOL that the reported IMEI TAC is present in MSAI list which is a reference list for operators.

“This TAC number had been claimed by Intex Technologies and upon checking with BABT, the issuing body of the 35 series under GSMA, it was found that this TAC was issued to Siemens prior to January 1, 2003 when TAC was of 6 digits as compared to 8 at present,” said Ashwani Budhiraja, general secretary, MSAI.

“We have updated this TAC in our list which is reference list for all the operators to know what is going to come in GSMA database so that the operators can prepare themselves. We regularly update our list when a genuine company places its claims on a certain TAC,” he added.


Budhiraja said that the mentioned TAC has been not been updated in GSMA database as Intex Technologies is yet to provide no-objection-certificate (NOC) on this TAC as asked by MSAI.

"Once they provide us NOC, we will take it up with BABT and on getting clearance from there, we will send the TAC to GSMA," said Budhiraja.

On asking about the time frame given to the company for providing NOC to MSAI, Budhiraja mentioned that it is an ongoing process but only after getting NOC, a TAC is forwarded for updation in GSMA database.


Telecom service providers allowing their service on the reported IMEI TAC had been doing so against the directive of Department of Telecommunication.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today responded to the e-mail sent by CIOL earlier, saying that the mentioned TAC had been invalid and is being blacklisted.

BSNL will send Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN) used against the mentioned TAC for further analysis.


A TAC consists of one million IMEI numbers and barring of services on handsets carrying IMEI number under this TAC is expected to further bring down the number of subscriber base of the companies that had been so far allowing their service on invalid TACs.

However, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular and above all Department of Telecommunication are yet to respond on their future course of action on this issue.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has till date not responded on this issue.