What is TAC number?

The Type Allocation Code (TAC) is the initial eight-digit portion of the 15-digit IMEI code used to uniquely identify wireless devices.
The TAC identifies a model or revision of wireless telephone for use on a GSM, UMTS or other IMEI-supporting wireless network. The first two digits of the TAC are the Reporting Body Identifier. This indicates the GSMA-approved group that allocated the TAC. The TAC indicated that the particular device was approved by a national GSM approval body.

From 01 April 2004 many GSM member nations and entities (mainly Europe) moved away from requiring that devices be approved by national bodies, and towards a system where device manufacturers self-regulate the device market. As a result, a manufacturer now simply requests an eight-digit Type Allocation Code for a new phone model from the international GSM standards body, instead of submitting a device for approval to a national review body.

The TAC uniquely identify a model of phone, although some models may have more than one code, depending on revision, manufacturing location, and other factors.
See images: Benefon Twin, Nokia 3210, Sharp TQ-G450 (OEM Ericsson) and the Siemens SL45i

The Reporting Body Identifier

The Reporting Body Identifier is the first two digits of a GSM Type Allocation Code, and indicates the GSMA-approved organization that registered (or, before 2002, approved) a given mobile device, and allocated the model a unique code.

The numbers are loosely based on the telephone country codes of the organization identified, as most approving nations used a single approval body endorsed by their national GSM Association chapter. However, not all RBIs follow this tendency.

According to Permanent Reference Document TW.06, Appendix A of the GSM Association, the current RBI codes indicate the following approval/allocation bodies:

Code Group/indication Origin
0 Test IMEI Nations with 2-digit CCs
1 PTCRB United States
02-09 Test IMEI Nations with 3-digit CCs
10 DECT devices
30 Iridium United States (satellite phones)
33 DGPT France
35 BABT United Kingdom
44 BABT United Kingdom
45 NTA Denmark
49 BZT / BAPT Germany
50 BZT ETS Germany
51 Cetecom ICT Germany
52 Cetecom Germany
53 TUV Germany
54 Phoenix Test Lab Germany
86 TAF China
91 MSAI India
98 BABT United Kingdom
99 GHA For multi RAT 3GPP2/3GPP

Normally, when an RBI is 35, the phone device has 1800 band, but if it is 01, it will not have it, e.g. Motorola, Nokia. There are some exceptions for the RBI 01, e.g. on LG and Sony Ericsson.

Source: Wikipedia.org

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