On August 17 — Indonesia’s Independence Day — the government is set to sign a regulation to control the spread of “illegal” cellphones in Indonesia.
Under the regulation, phones with international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) — a unique code assigned to every SIM card slot a phone has — that have not been registered in Indonesia will not be able to connect to any of the country’s cellular services.
The Ministry of Industries, one of the initiators of the regulation, has launched a page where users can enter their phone’s IMEI to see if it’s registered in the government’s database of legally approved phones.
You can view the page here.
Your phone’s IMEI should be available in the about section of its settings. Alternatively, you can dial *#06# to automatically bring up your phone’s IMEI.
If you bought your phone at an official Indonesian retailer, it should appear in the IMEI registry. Phones purchased from the black market domestically or from abroad should not appear in the registry.
Black market phones, which can be considerably cheaper than their retail versions, are quite popular in Indonesia, with many of them sold online. A government estimate put the number of active black market phones in Indonesia at around 20%.
Phones purchased through official retailers abroad can still be registered with the Indonesian government once the IMEI regulation is enforced, possibly with an additional tax. The IT Ministry says it’s preparing an app to allow phones purchased abroad to be registered for use in Indonesia.
Previously, the government said that the regulation will not be immediately enforced after it is signed on August 17 as there will be a two-year grace period in which all phones will still be able to connect to Indonesian cellular networks.
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