Government launches portal that will help you track your lost phone: How it works

If your phone is lost or gets stolen, the CEIR website will allow you to file an official complaint online.

The central government has launched a new project called the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), which will basically have a database of IMEIs of all the mobile operators. Based on this database, anybody who loses their phone will be able to track their device.

Essentially, if your phone is lost or gets stolen, you can head to the CEIR website, and file an official complaint online.

The portal was unveiled by Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday. The project is currently running on pilot in Maharashtra, and will eventually be rolled out across the entire country.

How does the CEIR portal work?

The CEIR portal will have a database of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of all mobile operators. So when you lose a device, you can track your phone using the IMEI number.

A man talks on his mobile phone while walking on a road. Image: Reuters

A man talks on his mobile phone while walking on a road. Image: Reuters

For the uninitiated, each mobile phone has a 15 digit unique identification number. Whenever a user makes a call, the call record shows the phone number of the caller and IMEI number of the handset from which the call has been made.

The portal will act as a central system for all telecom companies to share blacklisted mobile devices so that such phones will not work in another network even if the SIM card in the handset is changed. This would effectively make the phone redundant and curtail the use of counterfeit mobile devices.

At the time of your phone being stolen, you will have to lodge an FIR and inform Department of Telecom (DoT) via helpline number 14422. DoT will block the reported lost/stolen phone across the network which will prevent the reuse of the phone.

In case of anyone using your stolen or lost device, the telecom service provider will be to identify and track the new user. This information will then be shared with the police.

Reportedly, all major service providers like BSNL, Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea will be onboard this service.

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