Definition Edit

An Electronic Serial Number (ESN) is

  • "a unique 32-bit number programmed into CDMA phones when they are manufactured."
  • "[a] coded serial number assigned by the manufacturer to the mobile unit."[1]

Overview Edit

Each time a call is placed, the ESN is automatically transmitted to the base station so the wireless carrier's mobile switching office can check the call's validity. The ESN cannot easily be altered in the field. The ESN differs from the mobile identification number, which is the wireless carrier's identifier for a phone in the network. MINs and ESNs can be electronically checked to help prevent fraud.

References Edit

  1. Electronic Surveillance in a Digital Age, at 72.