TAC can only be allocated by the GSMA through their appointed reporting bodies.
Device brand owners and manufacturers need the Type Allocation Code (TAC) to create the first 8 digits of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), the number that identifies each unique mobile device on all gsm networks. TAC is required for all 3GPP-compatible equipment types worldwide including IoT devices, modems and wearables. Find out more about TAC for IoT here. There are important rules that govern TAC allocation which can be found at the GSMA IMEI Database.
The TAC and IMEI are also the references operators use to block stolen devices from accessing networks. Today it is not just phone theft that needs to be tackled but also subscription fraud, insurance fraud, smuggling and the production of counterfeit phones which have a negative impact on consumers who risk lower quality, safety, security, and environmental health and privacy assurances. Governments are effected as they forego tax and duties and must contend with increased crime, whilst the trademarks and brands of industry players are harmed.
GSMA believes multi-stakeholder collaboration is vital to help combat these issues starting with operators blocking devices with invalid IMEI using the GSMA’s global TAC list of all legitimate device identity number ranges. Find out more about the GSMA IMEI Database.
If you are a applying for TAC for the first time, or would like to refresh your knowledge to avoid errors and unnecessary delays, view the TAC training modules here.
The GSMA endeavors to maintain the integrity of the TAC and IMEI ecosystem through a number of important activities – read about the GSMA TAC and IMEI Integrity Framework here.