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The Global IMEI Database
Since the launch of the first GSM handset, TAC have been stored in a global database used by Mobile Network Operators. The Operators frequently synchronize their registers with this database to ensure they have the full list of legitimate devices in the marketplace. If a manufacturers TAC is not in the database, the corresponding device will not operate on most networks around the world.

GSM Association
The GSM Association (GSMA) has accepted the role of the Global Decimal Administrator (GDA) as recommended by the Joint Experts Meeting on IMEI / MEID, to allocate International Mobile Equipment Identity Numbers (IMEI) to manufacturers for use in GSM , UMTS and multi-mode mobile stations (MS) including these technologies. The ownership and management of the IMEI structure is understood to be invested in the GSM and UMTS industry as a whole and not the province of any one sector. The GSMA has appointed MSAI as their Reporting Body to carry out IMEI allocations.

Operators and Regulators can have access to IMEI allocation information via the GSMA IMEI Database and by Summary report (if requested) under a Non Disclosure Agreement. No other bodies apart from companies jointly approved by the GSMA and EICTA-CCIG will be able to have access to this information.

From the beginning of GSM, the GSMA has been entrusted by wireless standard bodies, mobile network operators and equipment manufacturers to implement and care for this database. The GSMA’s responsibilities for IMEI are mainly:

1) Managing the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) which houses all known TACs worldwide (The Global IMEI Database).
2) Managing the Regional Reporting Bodies and their procedures for allocation of TAC

GSM Manufacturers
Manufacturer: A manufacturer is defined as the legal entity that is responsible for designing and/or manufacturing a mobile terminal complying with the standards of GSM or IMT2000 with a view to placing it on the market on his own behalf. The manufacturer has an obligation to ensure that the product intended to be placed on the market is designed and manufactured, and its conformity assessed, to comply with the provisions of the applicable regulations. The manufacturer must retain the overall control of the production of the device and maintain the necessary level of competence to take the responsibility for placing the product on the market regardless of the extent to which aspects of the manufacturing process have been undertaken by third parties.

Manufacturers must register with the GSM Association before applying for an IMEI allocation. The registration form requests detailed information be provided about the manufacturer. An IMEI allocation will not be provided unless all mandatory fields (*) in the on-line form are completed to support the application.

Only Manufacturers or their authorized representative, covered under the following definition, are eligible to obtain IMEI block allocations. A letter of authorization for such representatives should be provided to MSAI prior to the application.
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