Equipment Identity Register

What is Equipment Identity Register?


Equipment Identity Register reduces the threats of theft of handsets by enabling individual operators to prevent the use of stolen handsets in their own networks.


This improves users’ security by switching off stolen phones, making them useless for mobile phone thieves and thus less likely to be stolen in the first place. In mobile networks, EIR works using the IMEI of the mobile phone.

IMEI and the Law

Many countries have acknowledged the use of the IMEI in reducing the effect of mobile phone theft. For example, in the United Kingdom, under the Mobile Telephones (Re-programming) Act, changing the IMEI of a phone, or possessing equipment that can change it, is considered an offence under some circumstance.

Blacklist of stolen Devices

When mobile equipment is stolen or lost the owner can typically contact their local operator with a request that it should be blocked. If the local operator possesses an Equipment Identity Register (EIR), it then will put the device IMEI into it, and can optionally communicate this to the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) which blacklists the device in all other operator switches that use the CEIR. With this blacklisting in place the device becomes unusable on any operator that uses the CEIR, making theft of mobile equipment a useless business proposition.

Features of EIR

  • Easy Barring – Allows operators to block phones based on phone number rather than IMEI, greatly increasing number of handsets blocked.
  • Fraud Analysis – Increases theft deterrence impact of EIR by detecting likely instances of IMEI cloning therefore reducing effectiveness of IMEI tampering.
  • Device Register – Provides device information needed for content authors and systems to optimize delivery of content to handsets and for troubleshooting and device provisioning purposes.
  • Device Detection – Supports device management and security applications by alerting systems when a particular handset registers to the network.
  • Data Mining – Provides operator and external decision makers with information on what handsets are on the network allowing for effective handset portfolio management and service planning.

Key Benefits

  • Deters theft by preventing the use of stolen devices with IMEI black lists and barring on a worldwide basis with IMEI database connectivity.
  • Reduces theft-related costs such as customer service expenses, concessions, churn, and increased insurance costs.
  • Increases effectiveness of EIR strategy with easy barring (bar via MSISDN) and hourly updates to the IMEI database.
  • Allows control of handsets for channel control and customer segmentation.
  • Enables new cost reducing and revenue increasing solutions by providing external systems and personnel with device intelligence.