What Is ESN Number?


The smartphone and table industry uses a lot of identifiers. We are here to tell you everything about your ESN number. What does it stand for? Why is it important? What information can it share with carriers and device owners?

ESN stands for electronic serial number. It has been used since 1980s in the U.S. to identify 3G and 4G CDMA gadgets. Remember that IMEI number belongs only to GSM iPhones. The code carries information about the company that manufactured a mobile technology product and operating systems the device is running.

Short ESN Number History

Electronic serial number was introduced in the early 1980s in the United States. It was created by the FCC commission as a unique identifier for mobile gadgets. It was firstly used by TDMA and AMPS gadgets, and today it is still used with CDMA device.

Manufacturers of smartphones and handsets started to run out of ESN numbers and a new solution was found. MEID are longer codes that are given to CDMA phones replacing older ESNs.

esn number

Decode ESN Number

Each 32-bits electronic serial number firstly consisted of 8-bits manufacturer code and 24-bits codes that the manufacturer could assign up to its devices. Later the first number was extended to 14 bits, and the second one was cut down to 18 bits.

The last electronic serial numbers were allocated in 2008. Modern phones that come with pseudo-ESN numbers are identified by their MEID codes.

Where ESN Is Located

This numeric identifier can be found under your device’s battery. You can find both hexadecimal and decimal versions of ESNs. By the way, these serial numbers are also programmed into the phone’s microchip. When you make a phone call, the base station automatically receives a signal from your ESN.

Before MEID started to replace ESN numbers users couldn’t switch their phones within one carrier without providing the electronic serial number of the smartphone required for its activation.

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