Central Equipment Identity Register


Central Equipment Identity Register

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Central Equipment Identity Register is a database of the IMEI numbers of blacklisted handsets. If a device’s ESN or IMEI number is listed on a CEIR, it is not supposed to work on member service providers’ networks; only paying members may access the database.[1]

There are a number of features which are added to the CEIR like providing statistics on the number of handset types. Growth/decline per network can be reported on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly base. Also we can see MSISDN, IMSI used by the IMEI and search for which all IMEI was used with IMSI.

A common usage of a CEIR is with stolen mobile devices. Once a user reports to their operator about the theft, the mobile devices’s IMEI number should be entered into the CEIR, supposedly making the device unusable in any network (although this does not always work). A key reason this sometimes does not work, is that while many operators from many countries contribute IMEIs to the CEIR, each also having a unique profile that determines which operators’ blocks will be included on the CEIR updates received by each operator. The UK networks for example, do not receive those block records originated by non-UK networks. Annual fees are required for access to the CEIR, and access is tightly regulated[1] Contributing operators decide for themselves which handsets they will block from their own networks,[2] and many network operators simply do not participate at all. Blocking users, means losing revenue. For operators it is often a trade off between business ethics and revenue. If one other operator in a country does not block the use of stolen handsets, revenue flows to that operator instead of the other, more ethical ones.

Currently, the Central Equipment Identity Register is more frequently called an IMEI DB (database) system which means that it is a central system for network operators (those that have an EIR) to share their individual blacklists with one another so that service is denied for the particular devices that appear on that blacklist. The idea is for network operators to compile one global blacklist through the IMEI DB. However, there is no agreement on a single CEIR.


An equipment identity register reduces the threats of theft of mobile devices by enabling individual operators to prevent the use of stolen mobile devices on their own networks. This improves users’ security by switching off stolen mobile devices, making them useless (bricked) for mobile devices thieves and thus less likely to be stolen in the first place. As the number of mobile devices and messaging users continue to grow, they become a target for fraudulent and criminal activities. Mobile Messaging application and infrastructure companies such as BroadForward, NokiaMavenir, Comviva Primal Technologies, Svyazcom and Tekelec are examples of providers for Equipment Identity for worldwide mobile operators like Vodafone (Airwide), MTS (Svyazcom), 4GTSS and Cegetel (Tekelec) that deploy the lists for the CEIRs.

There is a TRA mandatory rule to use CEIR in the operator network to prevent the handset theft and cloning of dual SIM cards.

See also[edit]