The attempt to limit stolen mobile phones on the market as well as theft in the first place has led to the implementation of the Central Equipment Identification Register.
If you are not familiar with this term then you have never bought a blacklisted cell.
Let’s make sure you won’t get one in the future and of course what to do if you already have one in your possession.
CEIR = BLACKLIST STATUS
Central Equipment Identity Register, otherwise known as CEIR or EIR, is an IMEI database of all mobile networks and acts as a reference point for sharing information so that blacklisted phones on one network won’t operate on another.
How does a phone become blacklisted?
There are four reasons.
- The most obvious is when a phone is stolen or lost
- The same thing happens when a phone is replaced by a carrier or an insurance company
- Although not so common, a phone can turn blacklisted when it is involved in illegal activities or acquired through fraud
- Apple can also blacklist any iPhone through the Chimaera Device Policy but this is another story.
Does EIR Mobile IMEI database work?
Central equipment identification database is working, but it is far from perfect.
First of all, a phone will get blacklisted as soon as one of the above reasons applies, however, there are workarounds.
In a perfect world when the IMEI of a phone goes into CEIR, it is supposed to render the device unusable on any mobile network worldwide unless the reason why it was blacklisted no longer applies.
However, to this date, there is no agreement on a global IMEI Database.
Each country uses its own blacklist which means that if a phone is SIM unlocked then, while it will not work in the country where the network is based, it will be fully functional in all others.
A shining exception to the rule is the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Puerto Rico which share their CEIRs.
And it’s not the only loophole as there are third-party services with which you can remove any phone, Apple or Android, from the blacklist without the approval of the original owner or the network.
What to do with a blacklisted phone
If you are the one whose cellphone was stolen then it is quite natural that you don’t want solutions for blacklisted devices and it is perfectly understandable.
However, the thief very rarely holds the phone but can very easily sell it through any online market and this may be Central Equipment Identification Register’s biggest failure.
It would be unfair not to take into account all those who were fooled into buying it and believe me there are way too many.
- Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal service that covers all the Carriers but they are separate for each one.
- In addition, some of them delete the phone’s IMEI from the respective CEIR so that it can be reused with the network that has locked it, while others simply unlock the blacklisted cell which means it can be used ONLY outside the blacklist – country border.
- Finally, these services are not always available and your device must meet the requirements to be successful.
The only way to avoid buying a blacklisted phone, which would be best, but at the same time to determine if this phone can be unlocked or unblacklisted is the IMEI Unblacklist Eligibility Check.
My experience shows that buying any service without proper and accurate IMEI Checking most times just increase the losses.