Type Allocation Code (TAC) is required for all 3GPP-compatible equipment types worldwide including IoT devices, modems and wearables.

What is TAC?
The TAC forms the first 8 digits of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) which identifies each individual device on a network.

Who should apply for TAC
All devices that connect directly to a cellular network require TAC. This includes IoT devices, modems and wearables. When a modem is installed within in a device, the original modem producer must apply for the TAC. Otherwise, it is the brand owner of the device that should apply for the TAC.

TAC in 3 Quick steps
1. Register & then apply for TAC via the GSMA IMEI Database 
2. Once the TAC certificate is issued create an IMEI using the TAC and a unique serial number for each individual equipment type
3. The IoT device maker or brand owner then uses the unique IMEI in an individual device and its associated packaging and official documentation

Who benefits from TAC / IMEI
TAC / IMEI enables IoT and other devices to connect to mobile networks, and is also required for compliance with international trade regulation. The IMEI number provides essential device information to all in the mobile ecosystem including network operators, governments and regulators, customs and excise, law enforcement as well as IoT and other service providers. Read more about the important role of TAC / IMEI in this blog post.

There are training materials available on the IMEI Database, covering each step in the TAC application process. The GSMA IMEI Helpdesk is available for additional support.