About 24-million Chinese handsets, will go off the air from December 1, 2009 in India as the Department of Telecom (DoT) has ordered all the telecom operators to disconnect all handsets without International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Most of the cheap handsets imported from China does not have a genuine IMEI number.
IMEI is a unique 15-digit code that comes with every mobile phone and helps uniquely identify the handset. This number is reflected in the operator’s network whenever a call is made or received from any handset and therefore allows lawful interception of all calls. Mobile operators store these numbers in Equipment Identity Register (EIR) â€” so if a handset is stolen and its owner can provide the IMEI number to his operator then it can be ensured that all calls from this device is barred.
You can check the IMEI number on your device just by pressing * # 0 6 #. If you don’t find any number or if the number consist of all zeros, then you should contact your retailer as your device is probably a fake one. Check out this Wikipedia page, to know more on IMEI number.