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ESN--Why change it?

Hi All, From what I've seen Tony or Dobby would most likely know this info: ESN (Electronic Serial Number) is, from ...

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    WA's 1st retired mod KevinJames's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    From what I've seen Tony or Dobby would most likely know this info:

    ESN (Electronic Serial Number) is, from what I understand, programmed into the phone by the manufacturer.

    Question: I have read posts asking about ESN changes and related charges. Why would a provider change the manufacturer-programmed ESN? Why would a subscriber ask for this?

    I honestly know nothing about this subject and would appreciate whatever you know.

    Thanks,
    -Kev

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    As far as I know, the only reason a person would want to change the Manufacturer's ESN is to clone a phone. Since it is illegal, no carrier would do it, or offer to tell you how to do it yourself. Cloning is a Huge underground business, though it has become a lot harder to do since authentication and then digital came along. They may get it to work for a couple of days, but the companies will find out pretty quick, if not immediately. And they have stiff fines and jail sentences if they catch you.

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    Well, you know, that is exactly what I thought too. However, I have seen multiple posts on a news group about an argument between several posters whether or not Verizonicon charges for ESN changes. I am beginning to think that they are misusing the term to refer to the subscriber (wireless phone) number.

    Do you know if Verizonicon charges to change your phone number? I may actually need to do this right from the moment I buy my TM520. The Bay Area Verizon stores sell their phones cheaper than do the same (company-owned) stores in the Central Valley. I find this surprising seeing as the Bay Area's mean income is much higher than the Central Valley. I have already spoken to a store in the Bay Area (work area) and they have no problem starting me up with service even though I live in the Central Valley. As an example of pricing: The TM510 is sold in the Bay Area for $149. In the Central Valley it is $50 bucks more: $199.

    (I wish I could remember which news group it was. During the absense of WA, I read several different "alt.cellular...." groups.)

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    What the posters are refering to when they say ESN swap, is changing a phone. For example, I believe Sprint charges $35 on the next bill when you buy a new phone and switch your service to it.

    You can pay to change your phone number, or you can attemot an EZ move, where they will switch your phone number for free. (This is usually done when you move to a new place and you want to get a local number.) Also, you could set up the phone, and just saythey messed up and gave you a phone number wrong.

    By the way, to my knowledge there is no way to clone a Verizonicon phone without it being noticed by Verizonicon. Sprint on the other hand, because of the way they do thier analog roaming, can be cloned easily if a phreaker gets ahold of a Sprintsicon store's demo phone's esn and phone number. I won't post how, though. (I'm sure you understand why.)

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    Right, NO company would actually CHANGE the ESN on a particular phone....it just means changing the phone on the account. For example, a warranty exchange.

    I CAN see how that would lead you to believe otherwise..!

    Of course, many customers INSIST that there phone MUST have been cloned when their bill is Hundreds of dollars due to overage, or roaming, or etc....LOL

    Been w/ AT&T and SunCom for 3 years now and have NEVER seen a phone cloned....although I have heard that Mayor Guliani's phone has been cloned numerous times...?????

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    When I worked for US Cellular here in Ukiah, California back in 1997/98, I saw at least 2 cloned phones a month, mostly from people who had gone down to the Bay Area recently. It was all Analog here then. Big Cities were/are a haven for cloners.

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    Wow! 2 a month??!! I guess that is a HUGE drawback to analog (among other things)....the lack of security. Guess weve come a long way baby...!

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