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Central Equipment Identity Register

  • 15 Jul 2019
  • 3 min read

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications has initiated a Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) for mobile service providers.

  • The National Telecom Policy of 2012 calls for the establishment of a National Mobile Property Registry to address the issue of security, theft, and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets.

Central Equipment Identity Register

  • It will be a central depository or database of all mobile phones connected to networks across India.
    • Every mobile network provider in India has an Equipment Identity Register (EIR), or a database of the phones connected to its network.
    • These EIRs will now share information with a single central database, i.e CEIR.
  • CEIR will have information on the Device’s :
    • International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
    • Model
    • Version

International Mobile Equipment Identity

  • Every phone or mobile broadband device has this unique 15 digit code that precisely identifies the device.
  • Mobile phone manufacturers assign IMEI numbers to each device based on ranges allotted to them by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.
  • Dual SIM phones will have two IMEI numbers.

Objective of CEIR

  • Such centralized databases are meant to identify and block stolen or illegal mobile phones across networks.
    • Presently, when a customer reports a mobile phone as missing or stolen, mobile service providers have the ability to blacklist the phone’s IMEI in their EIRs and block it from accessing their network.
    • But if the SIM is changed to a new network, it can continue to be in use whereas in case of CEIR all network operators will be aware that the phone is blacklisted.
  • The CEIR will also access the GSMA’s database of IMEI numbers to check whether the phone is authentic.
    • There are cases of phones being in use with duplicate IMEI numbers, or with all zeros instead of an authentic IMEI number.
  • CEIR will be able to block services to subscribers unlike present system that allows only individual networks to block services in case of theft and or stolen mobiles.


  • Major issue with CEIR is to identify the authority that should maintain such a high-value database (whether service provider or a neutral third party).
  • Another major issue is cloning or reprogramming stolen or unauthorized mobile phones to attach existing genuine IMEI numbers.
    • As blocking cloned IMEI numbers could result in the authentic ones also being blocked.
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