How TRAI can track block lost or stolen phones using IMEI

In case you are always worried about losing your mobile and all data stolen, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has some good news for you. TRAI has initiated a process which intends to centralize the process to track a lost/stolen mobile phone using the IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) or ESN (Electronic Serial Number). Using this they will be able to track lost or stolen phones.

If you remember IMEI number was made compulsory few years back to bring down all the illegal handsets specially the Chinese made.

As of now the not all operators support blocking facility and if somebody has lost has to file a request to all the operators individually which are painful. Also, another hurdle in this process is that IMEI or ESN numbers can be changed using software tools.

How TRAI can track block lost or stolen phones using IMEI

Keeping this in mind, TRAI’s has done a Press Release for this which can be read here.

Lost Mobile PhoneHow all mobiles can be tracked?

TRAI plans to use CEIR which means Central Equipment Identity Register. It is unique for every mobile device and under the direction of DoT all service providers have upgraded their network. This feature was the key behind blocking all the mobile handsets which had Zero as their IMEI in the handsets or one which has been marked as stolen or lost.

Since CEIR is in place, It can be used to track and block the phones, However all telecoms operators should come together to form one central database. That’s what will happen in a couple of months. It will make sure all database is available to all the Telecoms. Below is the detail from the document :

  • The CEIR has the list of IMEIs of all the subscribers. This list can be classified into a white list (Genuine), Blacklist (Unauthorized).
  • When the CEIR receive a request from the Mobile Switching Center/Visitor Location Register (MSC/VLR), it will search its database to determine on which list the Mobile’s IMEI is located.
  • It will then send the information back to the MSC/VLR. It will act on the information accordingly. E.g. the MSC/VLR may terminate the call if the Mobile IMEI is found in the blacklist. CEIR is a system that can integrate the IMEI information of EIRs of all the networks.

We all hope that this initiative does take shape. It will finally help people to get back their Mobile or at least stop it from being misused. This will not only bring down the theft but also push the security to another level.

Let us hope this finally becomes a successful project. That way any phone which is lost is tracked using IMEI number even if the SIM is switched.


  1. Hi
    What is the procedure to apply for IMEI tracking ?.
    What documents required?
    What will be the charge ?
    When this all will be in practice by all network providers?
    I would like to suggest the rules as in Poland to implement are practically possible in India .


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