Coursework, notes, and progress while attending NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)

Finding IMSI and IMEI numbers

We were tasked this week with finding our phones’ IMSI and IMEI numbers. In researching how to find these, I came across how-to’s that mentioned several other kinds of numbers. Quora helped me clarify exactly what I was looking for:


International Mobile Subscriber Identity. This is a unique identifier that defines a subscriber in the wireless world, including the country and mobile network to which the subscriber belongs. It has the format MCC-MNC-MSIN. MCC = Mobile Country Code (e.g. 310 for USA); MNC = Mobile Network Code (e.g. 410 for AT&T), MSIN = sequential serial number. All signaling and messaging in GSM and UMTS networks uses the IMSI as the primary identifier of a subscriber.
The IMSI is one of the pieces of information stored on a SIM card.


IMEI is short for International Mobile Equipment Identity and is a unique number given to every single mobile phone, typically found behind the battery.

I have an iPhone, so I found my phone’s IMEI number by going to “Settings” then “General” then “About.”

Finding my IMSI was more complicated. Instructions I found indicated “In order to find your IMSI you must have a jailbroken and activated iPhone. Otherwise your attempts will fail,” and my iPhone is not jailbroken. I found an Apple thread that suggested I could use a SIM card reader (these do not seem easy to find but I’d be happy to know where to find one). Finally, I found instructions for displaying IMSI when you dial “* # 0 6 #” which did display a number! The same site seemed to be saying the IMSI and IMEI/MEID codes were functionally equivalent numbers for Android and iPhone, respectively, but I’m not sure if that’s right. If it is, I’m not sure what number I got to display.

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *