IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity which is a unique identifier number to identify mobile devices. Usually, the IMEI number can be found printed on the packaging or behind the mobile’s battery. Along with that, you can use an on-screen dial by entering *#06# which gives you your unique IMEI number. The IMEI number is used to extract the device-specific information like origin, model number, history, and manufacturer’s information of the device.
As currently most of the nations have regulated the rules regarding the IMEI registration and blocking, out of which Australia being the first country to regulate the rules. For instance, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) reached an agreement on the implementation of systems to allow the blocking of lost and stolen mobiles wherein in 2002 Telstra became the first company to allow blocking of lost and stolen mobile devices.
Thus, it is not a new concept that is being implemented in Nepal. In fact, Nepal has been pooling its resources to implement the Mobile Device Management System Bylaws, 2075 (2018) which is exercised in reference to the power conferred by Section 62 of the Telecommunication Act, 2053 (1997).
The Nepal Telecommunications Authority has the following aim to accomplish by formulating the Mobile Device Management System Bylaws, 2075 (2018):
- Implementation of Equipment Identity Register (EIR) system to ensure national and consumer security
- Identify the genuine handsets and discredit and block the fake and non-genuine handsets in Nepal
- Enforce and enable tracking and blocking of handsets that are lost or stolen
- Eradicate the grey market which sells mobile device from the unauthorized distribution channels and encourage the import and sales of the genuine mobile device through official/Authorized distribution channels.
If you want to know comprehensively about the law, follow this link.
Fast forward in the present scenario, the Finance Minister Mr. Bishnu Prasad Paudel announced in Budget of Nepal 2078/79 that the Mobile Device Management System (MDMS ) will be implemented from Shrawan 1, 2078. Back in 2019, the regulatory body which is Nepal Telecommunications Authority decided to give the contract to a joint venture of Malaysian firm Nuemera, OSI of India, and Namaste Global communication of Singapore.
The Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) Bylaws, 2018 has defined the devices as compliant and non-compliant. The Bylaw states, “Compliant mobile device is a device meeting the following criteria: Having valid IMEI/ESN/MEID number; not in the stolen/lost list; type approved by the authority; and registered in the Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) and imported into Nepal,”.
Now, as the distribution channel is more regulated with the MDMS system which includes the regulation of VAT (Value Added Tax) and Excise Duty, you might wonder what do you do with the phones you carry from abroad for personal use? The Government has not yet set the distinct rules and procedures to regulate the issue but has vaguely mentioned that the owners using the foreign device need to pay a certain amount while registering their device.
All in all, it is imperative to be aware and register the IMEI number of your device in the database of the Government. Now, the question arises, how do you register the IMEI number in the database? Well, that’s where we come.
Let’s take a look at the process for registering your device and it applies to both the individuals and importers/agents.
Steps to Register Your Device IMEI
Step 1: Go to this link. There are two options click on New Register on the top left-hand side icon and you will be directed to a form fill-up page like the one mentioned in the image below.
Step 2: Fill up the form. If you have a mobile device with a dual sim feature, you need to register two IMEI numbers to be able to use both sims.
Step 3: Upload your identification card which can be either your citizenship, passport, visa, or any other formal ID issued by the Government. Also, note that the file size must be less than 3MB.
Step 4: Make sure you fill up all the blocks with * signs and click submit.
Further, if you want to track or block your device in the event of stolen or theft you can do so by following the same link as before.
Follow the same steps as mentioned above to block or track your device.
Also, go to this link to check if your mobile device is registered in the database of the Nepal Telecommunications Authority.
Finally, as the government has announced that the new regulatory law to be enforced on Shrawan 1, 2078 which is Mobile Device Management System Bylaws, 2075 (2018), it is imperative as a consumer and a business person to be aware of the compliance of the law as needless to say the mobile device is not a luxury but necessity of current market. And what about rural Nepal where digital literacy lacks widely? This is a lingering question for government to address.