"Illegal" IMEI: phone cannot be used

waarmstrong

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The last time we were able to visit Jakarta in 2019, I had a Blackberry into which I slipped an Indonesian card. Worked fine until we returned to the USA and I switched back to my AT&T card. Would not work, thus the "upgrade" to the $100 Iphone 5s. I am planning on bringing the BB when we return (hopefully the summer of 2021) and, hopefully, it will work with the Indonesian card.
 

R Cameron

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The last time we were able to visit Jakarta in 2019
What month in 2019 was it last used on an Indonesian network? They have never clarified when the automatic whitelist period started, I suspect the latter half of 2019 should be safe, but you may be a test case for, so please keep us updated when you try.
 

waarmstrong

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I recall that we departed for the States in early August, 2019. Did not have any issues getting local cards or having them work. Same with the Iphone 6's of my wife and child -- no issues
 

dafluff

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So whatever shitty database program they are using is already full of IMEI numbers, and can't register new ones. Which is a big problem, because this means no new phone, including legal ones, can be registered now.

One plan is to scrub the database of old phones that are no longer being used, but this may also open up a can of worms.

All in all, it went as good as expected...

 

R Cameron

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One plan is to scrub the database of old phones that are no longer being used, but this may also open up a can of worms.
That would be an acceptable solution in my opinion as long as they provide a long period of inactivity, perhaps 2-3 years. Even still, it might be only a temporary solution as the number of devices in active use continues to grow.
 

Nimbus

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Indonesia has 267 million people, and the data shows 167 million mobile internet users in 2019. Let’s say each user goes through 5 cell phone numbers on average, that’s 835 million IMEI numbers. Round it up to 1 billion records, and it’s still within the capacity of MS SQL Server database, certainly well within the capability of bigger products like Teradata.

I think the entire system lives in a consumer desktop sitting on the desk of an underpaid subcontractor.
 

R Cameron

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Let’s say each user goes through 5 cell phone numbers on average, that’s 835 million IMEI numbers.
A unique IMEI is assigned for each cellular modem, meaning one for each cellular device like phone or hotspot device, and some phones have two modems in order to use two cards at the same time. People will often own more than one cellular device, but also typically keep the same device for more than one year. If they keep inactive IMEI registered for an additional two years before purging it from the system, some quick estimates tell me they still only need capacity for about 700 million.

That is to service the Indonesian population, any visitor that inserts a phone card will get their IMEI registered in the system as well, a few million a year.

It seems the system should easily have adequate capacity for many years to come if they simply purge IMEI that have been inactive for 2 years. Perhaps that is not easily done with their system.
 

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