1. hullabaloo12345's Avatar
    Is it possible to have a BlackBerry Bold with an IMEI that starts with something other than 35 or 01?

    A friend of mine showed me his phone, and ironically the IMEI was another number. My immediate response was, WTF? are you kidding? So, I looked at it and sure enough it was true.

    Personally, I think the phone is bootleg. But it came from a national carrier so it can't be ... right?

    We called his carrier, got some tech guy on the phone who had been working there for about 3 years, and sure enough, he confirmed that it's the only time he has every heard of an IMEI that didn't start with either a 35 or 01.

    Any thoughts?
    09-25-09 01:54 PM
  2. Radius's Avatar
    09-25-09 01:58 PM
  3. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    Not unusual. I have 2 SIM cards in front of me that start with 89
    09-25-09 03:24 PM
  4. derande's Avatar
    It can be any number of things

    yup, 98 here
    09-25-09 03:32 PM
  5. Radius's Avatar
    Not unusual. I have 2 SIM cards in front of me that start with 89
    SIM cards? He's talking IMEI, that's usually on a sticker inside the phone. Or the info screen of a BB in this case.
    09-25-09 04:00 PM
  6. boydude's Avatar
    simz here is 89441100
    09-25-09 05:39 PM
  7. hullabaloo12345's Avatar
    Thank you, but the sim card isn't the issue. The sim card starts with a very common 8901... What I'm referring to is the IMEI specific code, behind the battery. It's supposed to be 35 or 01, but it's 980041.... we called the carrier, to get the electronic read by punching in a specific code and it said the same thing. So, they asked if they could catalog it. What do you think we should do?
    09-25-09 08:35 PM
  8. Radius's Avatar
    Thank you, but the sim card isn't the issue. The sim card starts with a very common 8901... What I'm referring to is the IMEI specific code, behind the battery. It's supposed to be 35 or 01, but it's 980041.... we called the carrier, to get the electronic read by punching in a specific code and it said the same thing. So, they asked if they could catalog it. What do you think we should do?
    Can you post the whole IMEI? I want to decode it and see what it says.

    Also, why are you assuming 35 or 01 only? You are saying the phone either came from the UK or the USA but there are more options than that available.
    09-25-09 09:35 PM
  9. hullabaloo12345's Avatar
    Entire IMEI: 980041000351492

    Made in Hungary

    I originally purchased the phone at an AT&T store in USA, then exchanged it in USA due to a malfunctioning speaker phone, then exchanged it again in USA because every time I was on the phone, if an SMS or MMS came through, the call would get dropped.

    Let me know what you come up with...

    Thank you!!!
    09-25-09 09:46 PM
  10. Radius's Avatar
    98-004100-035149-2

    98 - ?? Not a valid code to my knowledge. Does not exist anywhere.

    004100 - Cannot locate this. But there is no comprehensive database anywhere.

    035149 - Manufacturer specific, could be anything.

    2 - Checksum, valid.

    What model is this phone? In recent ones the 4100 should read 4103 at least indicating some kind of encryption from what I understand.
    09-25-09 10:00 PM
  11. hullabaloo12345's Avatar
    What would you suggest I do with it? AT&T says the same thing you're saying. That I'm wrong. So, they asked me to punch in some *# code to certify the number and it's internally configured with the same IMEI. The support guy was puzzled and said he's never seen or heard anything like it.
    10-01-09 03:42 PM
  12. Radius's Avatar
    Technically it is possible to change an IMEI, but it's not easy and really should never be done. There's only two reasons I can think of for this one being invalid:

    1) It's not an official BB, just a clone that someone made.
    2) It is an official BB but it is stolen property and someone changed the IMEI to hide that fact.

    At the end of the day I think you're stuck with it. If it works on the network then have fun, otherwise you've got to replace it.
    10-01-09 04:13 PM
  13. giancarlo93's Avatar
    98-004100-035149-2

    98 - ?? Not a valid code to my knowledge. Does not exist anywhere.

    004100 - Cannot locate this. But there is no comprehensive database anywhere.

    035149 - Manufacturer specific, could be anything.

    2 - Checksum, valid.

    What model is this phone? In recent ones the 4100 should read 4103 at least indicating some kind of encryption from what I understand.
    I heard that with the IMEI you can get the code to unlock a bb.
    Any ideas on that?
    10-01-09 04:32 PM
  14. jchapman01's Avatar
    IMEI numbers starting with 98 have been coming into my store lately. Alot of the new Bolds now start with 98 and also the new Netbooks and 3G data cards, too. 98's are There's no conspiracy, lol.
    10-01-09 05:06 PM
  15. Radius's Avatar
    I heard that with the IMEI you can get the code to unlock a bb.
    Any ideas on that?
    Not sure what your question is, but I think they use the IMEI as a key for the unlock formula. The phone would use the same formula to validate if the correct unlock code was issued.

    If the phone is already unlocked then there is really nothing the IMEI will tell us in this case.
    10-01-09 05:08 PM
  16. Radius's Avatar
    IMEI numbers starting with 98 have been coming into my store lately. Alot of the new Bolds now start with 98 and also the new Netbooks and 3G data cards, too. 98's are There's no conspiracy, lol.
    If that's the case then it must be very new, it's not listed anywhere I can find.
    10-01-09 05:12 PM
  17. jchapman01's Avatar
    If that's the case then it must be very new, it's not listed anywhere I can find.
    Yeah, I've only been noticing the new IMEIs for the last few weeks.
    10-01-09 05:23 PM
  18. Radius's Avatar
    Ok, this stuff is confusing. I am reading the GSM associations guidelines for IMEI allocation and it seems 98 is a wild card of sorts, and not the only one.

    "Identifies the Allocating Body in a country, using the MNC. A Reporting Body should use "00". If “00” is already used by an operator or another Reporting Body then “99” shall be used. Where more than two Reporting Bodies exist then the numbers 98, 97 etc shall be used. The GSM Association in Dublin shall use "99" along with 353 as the country Identifier."

    This is from a 2003 standard, and there are longer explanations of it elsewhere in the document. So basically the IMEI was allocated by someone in a place where there was more than one allocator as near as I can tell so they used 98 as it was the next unused allocation code.

    [edit]

    Here's the document if anyone is interested: http://www.gsmworld.com/documents/DG06_3v7-Draft.pdf
    10-01-09 05:25 PM
  19. giancarlo93's Avatar
    Not sure what your question is, but I think they use the IMEI as a key for the unlock formula. The phone would use the same formula to validate if the correct unlock code was issued.

    If the phone is already unlocked then there is really nothing the IMEI will tell us in this case.
    Thanks, That was what I was trying to tell you.
    Any idea on this formula?
    10-01-09 05:51 PM
  20. Radius's Avatar
    Not really no. I think it is also carrier specific. I am not even sure where you get the app to generate unlock codes, I will have to search someday.
    10-01-09 06:21 PM
  21. hullabaloo12345's Avatar
    Okay, so 98 is the reporting body identifier. Is that industry specific or allocated to a particular carrier? I ask because on Page 15 it says: From 01/02/2005 a new format as described in table 7.1.3 will apply to test IMEIs for all countries except North America. The phone was manufactured in Hungary. Hence the question.

    The only reason why we are so curious about this is because 9800410 was my phone number for 20 years growing up as a child. To see it on the back of my phone was cool, and interesting, and now I'm trying to figure out how it got there because no one seems to know why.
    10-01-09 07:11 PM
  22. TheElderBerry's Avatar
    The only reason why we are so curious about this is because 9800410 was my phone number for 20 years growing up as a child. To see it on the back of my phone was cool, and interesting, and now I'm trying to figure out how it got there because no one seems to know why.
    That's unbelievably bizarre. I'd love to hear what you find out.
    10-01-09 07:21 PM
  23. Radius's Avatar
    First off the number is a coincidence as it relates to you, no magic there.

    Second, because this was produced in Hungary I take it to mean there are multiple agencies or bodies there who can assign the numbers so the one that made this just chose 98 as that's all they had available to them.
    10-01-09 07:42 PM
  24. avmsam's Avatar
    my friend just got a rogers bold that has an imei that starts with 98
    12-10-09 01:36 PM
  25. Silverfern's Avatar
    i got a new blackberry storm 2, manufactured in october of 2009, the IMEI starts with 98 also, i checked the validity of the IMEI number to make sure its not stolen or something, on this site: International Numbering Plans, 2001-2010 it shows up as valid, so no problems, and my phone is unlocked properly (i.e. not locked to anything), everything works fine, so 98 start is fine, and check your phone IMEI on that site
    04-09-10 11:29 AM
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