Identifying the Make and Model of a Mobile Phone

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Identifying the Make and Model of a Mobile Phone

Identifying a cell phone can help your forensic investigator correctly document the device and also help determine what tools might be required when working with the phone itself. Most phones have a manufacturer, model number, carrier and a phone number assigned to the device.  All of this information can help identify your device and can also further assist in successful data extraction.

CDMA Cellular Phones

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) cellular phones are still in circulation and are widely available, especially among folks who aren’t quite ready to deal with the new technology on smart phones like the Android or iPhone. These devices are definitely considered “older” models and contain an assortment of widely recognizable numbers that can offer a range of data.  These important identification numbers include:

  • Electronic Serial Number (ESN): A 32-bit number can be found under the battery. This may either be listed in decimal (eleven digits) or a hexadecimal (eight digits).
  • Mobile Equipment ID (MEID): This can also be found under the battery cover and is a 56-bit number that replaced the ESN due to the limited number of 32-bit ESN numbers.
  • Mobile Identification Number (MIN): The MIN is a carrier-assigned, carrier-unique 24-bit (10-digit) telephone number.
  • Mobile Directory Number (MDN): The MDN is the globally-unique telephone number of the phone.

GSM Cellular Phones

Many newer cell phone models are considered GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) cellular phones. These are considered standard today and are your typical smart phone.  These devices contain numerous ways to detect and identify each handset or device.

  • The International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI): Is a unique 15-digit number that identifies a GSM cellular phone handset on its network.
  • Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card slot: This is also generally located under the battery.
  • Integrated Circuit Card Identification (ICCID): The ICCID number is tied to the following two methods:
  • International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) which is typically a 15-digit number (56 bits) consisting of three parts including the Mobile Country Code.
  • The Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN): Is the phone’s 15-digit, globally unique number.

iDen Cellular Phones

iDen (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) cellular phones share a similar identification method and usage as GSM cellular phones, but do not use the same technology to achieve results. This means their identification is essential, as data extraction method must be tailored to their makeup. They are harder to find and have less identifiable qualities.

  • (IMEI): This number is generally found under the battery of the cellular phone.
  • Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card slot: This is also generally located under the battery.

Call USA Investigators

Regardless of whether you have identified the make and model of a mobile phone or are still unsure of its origins, USA Investigators can discuss which methods of data extraction are most applicable in your case. Call today to speak to a forensic investigator who can take you through the steps to correctly identify your phone or mobile device and retrieve or protect critical data.