IMEI Codes are phone codes which are specific to each phone and are used to identify phones in larger networks. In a move to better regulate the devices within a country’s cyber domain, Afghanistan’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, has decided to ban phones that do not have the same IMEI Registration Codes.

What are IMEI codes?

IMEI codes or International Mobile Equipment Identity codes, are 15-17 digits serial numbers that are assigned at the time of manufacturing, so that network providers may keep track of the phones and devices within their domains. The code can be found IMEIs are a very useful tool, in terms of security, as IMEIs allow network providers to block stolen phones from networks and can reduce chances of identity or data theft.

How will the ban help?

The recent ban on phones with fake IMEIs is so to “prevent the misuse of “phones and make it easier to track them in case they are stolen.  Mobile phone vendors are in support of the ban, and they believe it’s a step in the right direction. However, transitioning all mobile users to registered phones is going to be a challenge for ATRA. According to ATRA, much of the phones have been imported with fake IMEI codes, and lack of monitoring of shipments has facilitated the inflow of these devices.


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