Changing the IMEI

does Gemalto PLS8 or Broadmobi BM818 allow changing IMEI? if not - which modem model could you suggest?

please refrain from lame comments like “this is illegal hurr durr”, thanks.


I don’t see why it would be. If we need a license to “operate” the phone, then it might :slight_smile:

I would guess that the IMEI is stored on the modem. That is just a guess though. If the modem is on a removable card, then you could change the modem. I am not sure how expensive replacement modem cards will be.

As far as changing it via software goes, that would depend on the modem’s capabilities. Purism will be offering the 2 very different modems that you mention, so each one might have to be researched. There will probably be AT commands that you can issue, but sometimes developer modem firmware builds will allow this, and retail builds will not. So the dev kits might not be a good indicator of what the final product can do.


you actually need in most countries, and that license is your passport.

yes, IMEI is stored in modem, and some modems allow changing the IMEI.
so i want some kind of “developer firmware”.
or “leaked developer firmware” if you know what i mean :wink:

I had a quick look at the PLS8 documentation and I couldn’t find anything. The relevant AT command could be undocumented though. If you get hold of a device, it would be worth trying the command that is reported as working on Android phones.

Passport is a form of ID. If that’s what you meant, that’s not a license. For license to use something, you have to go through approval process and may be denied. Nobody needs that in order to buy or use a phone. To get a cell phone line , in most cases you need an id if purchasing in store postpaid plan. Online , you can order a prepaid with stated - made up information.
To buy a phone , you don’t need to show any form of ID - if buying outright nor leave any personal information. If on credit, they will need info , but not ID.


is there any chance on getting a “developer firmware” for modems?


I think you’re asking in the wrong place for that, especially if you mean “leaked developer firmware” as you mentioned earlier. If someone can give you that then it would probably not be a sensible idea for them to talk too much about it in a public forum like this one, if you get my meaning. :wink:


Where else should I ask about developer firmware for modems used in Purism products? I doubt there are forums dedicated to those two specific modems and I don’t know any good mobile forums except xda and 4pda and both of them surely will not help here.

So, if anyone could help with “leaked firmware” - please contact me, I have some BTC/ETH to share.

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I don’t remember which modems are the two specific modems but I seem to recall that there is a forum for developers and others relating to the Gemalto modems.

Pretty sure they aren’t that interested in leaking the firmware but that might be a place to have a presence and ask questions and explain the problem(s) you are attempting to solve. If you happen to make the right contact then so much the better. :slight_smile:

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IMEI has both components of the phone and the modem:

  1. The first two numbers is RBI (Reporting Body Identifier) = who registered that type of phone ( verify here )

  2. The next four numbers is TAC (Type Allocation Code) = what type of unit and its complete specifications

3)The next two numbers is FAC (Final Assembly Code) = who manufacture it

example :-

01 AEG
04 Samsung
07 Motorola
10 Nokia
30 Ericsson
41 Siemens
50 Bosch
51 Sony

  1. The next six numbers is the Serial Number of the Phone

  2. The last number is sort of a check sum, that verifies the previous numbers
    above derived from the XDA site
    Of all of this, only the FAC should be variable and altered by Gemalto, Broadmi or some other entity this even perhaps being Librem itself. The RBI, TAC and serial number should be fixed. The check sum is obviously derived in any case.
    I do not clearly know FAC responsibility here. There is a web site on Stackflow which says that FAC is a constant. If that were true because it is not of the modem, then FAC would be from Librem. I do not know this is true however. (


Now that many more Librem 5 phones are out in the community since the last post on this topic 7 months ago, just thought I’d try to revisit the issue. Has anyone figured out a way to change the IMEI on a Librem 5? Or even figure out how to find out what the IMEI # is on their Librem 5?

Open the Settings application, select Mobile then Modem Details. It’s at the bottom of the page.


Both BroadMobi BM818 and Gemalto PLS8 seem to be mirrors of the Qualcomm baseband setup.

I’m pretty sure you could use QPST over RS232. There may be a hidden AT command to do this.

Purism (the company) thinks it is illegal to do this. It actually is NOT illegal, only in some jurisdictions. It is not illegal to flash an IMEI in the USA. It is however illegal to flash your device to an IMEI of a device you do not own. I have found no federal law against this, but note that I am not a lawyer.

To further back my claim that both are mirrors of Qualcomm modems: (CMD+F for where Bob Ham asked Johan Hovold for the output of USB devices for the device.

My email:

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You can see BM818 has a Linux QMI driver as well - and you could access this over USB here QPST is widely available along with instructions in XDA developer forum.

I’d be glad to handover my Evergreen device when it arrives :slight_smile:

You might want to review the following link (which was posted recently in this forum in a different topic):

I’m not a lawyer either.

Fun hypothetical question … supposing that it is illegal to change the IMEI, is it illegal to leave the IMEI unchanged but change the software so that the IMEI as reported to the cellular network is other than the IMEI as known to and displayed on the phone?

This is a relevant distinction for practical law enforcement purposes because stolen property will still correctly identify itself as stolen if it is recovered but it will mildly protect your privacy when used by the legitimate owner on the network, but it will also impede law enforcement efforts to recover the device in the first place if the device is stolen.

There is no federal law (in the US) against this that I know of. Other countries, most definitely. Of course, if you’re doing something illegal or could be perceived as illegal by a judge, it’s illegal.