Mobile Identification Number


The Mobile Identification Number (MIN) is a unique number assigned to a mobile phone within a cellular network. It primarily functions as an identifier for the phone, facilitating its identification and authorization for making calls and using network services. The MIN, along with other parameters, ensures accurate billing and communication between mobile devices and cellular networks.

Key Takeaways

  1. Mobile Identification Number (MIN) is a unique identifier assigned to a mobile device within a wireless carrier’s network, used to define a specific subscriber and facilitate proper routing of mobile calls.
  2. MIN is typically a 10-digit number that is derived from the device’s assigned telephone number, and must work in conjunction with the Electronic Serial Number (ESN) or Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID) to prevent cloning and fraud on the wireless network.
  3. Although MIN is still used in some older mobile technologies, it has largely been replaced by the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) in modern mobile networks, which offers better security and is an integral part of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) standards.


The Mobile Identification Number (MIN) is a crucial aspect of mobile communication technology, as it primarily serves as a unique identifier for mobile devices on a cellular network.

It is often assigned by the carrier, and plays a critical role in enabling seamless call routing and billing, ensuring efficient network management.

By uniquely identifying each user within the network, the MIN prevents communication errors and prioritizes security, providing a streamlined user experience while minimizing fraud and misuse.

In summary, the Mobile Identification Number plays an indispensable role in the overall functioning of mobile communication systems, ensuring secure and efficient connectivity across a cellular network.


The Mobile Identification Number (MIN) serves as an essential component in the realm of wireless communications, primarily designed to identify subscribers within a specific mobile network. In essence, the MIN functions as a virtual “name tag” for the user’s device within the service provider’s network.

This identification system not only ensures seamless connectivity among millions of devices but also aids in effective management of calls, data services, and network efficiency. Moreover, the MIN paves the way for precise billing, resource allocation, and the delivery of appropriate custom services tailored to the user’s needs.

To better appreciate the significance of the MIN, it is crucial to understand that mobile networks rely on both Mobile Identification Numbers and Mobile Subscriber Integrated Services Digital Network Numbers (MSISDN) to maintain order and coordination in providing services. While the MIN focuses on the internal identification of subscribers within the network, the MSISDN remains visible to the user as their phone number.

By distinguishing these numbers, mobile service providers can effectively manage resources and deliver the best possible experience to their valued customers. The MIN is, therefore, an indispensable component of wireless communication, serving as the linchpin for streamlined service deliverance and a well-organized network.

Examples of Mobile Identification Number

The Mobile Identification Number (MIN) is a unique number assigned to a mobile device or a mobile subscriber within a network to ensure proper routing and identification of calls. Here are three real-world examples:

Emergency Services: When a person calls emergency services (e.g., 911 in the United States) from a mobile phone, their MIN helps dispatchers accurately locate the caller, enabling a quicker response from emergency personnel. This is vital in a crisis where time is of the essence.

Network Roaming: When a mobile user travels to another country, their mobile phone MIN is used by the foreign carrier to identify the subscriber and communicate with their home network. This ensures calls and SMS messages are routed and billed correctly while roaming.

Call Authentication: MIN can be used as part of call authentication processes to prevent unauthorized use of mobile services. For instance, when a subscriber wants to access their voicemail, the network first verifies the MIN to ensure the user has permissions to access that specific voicemail box, avoiding unauthorized access.

FAQ – Mobile Identification Number

What is a Mobile Identification Number (MIN)?

A Mobile Identification Number (MIN) is a unique identifier assigned to a mobile phone by a cellular network. It is used for various purposes, including call routing and billing. MINs are commonly used in conjunction with Mobile Directory Numbers (MDNs) to manage and identify subscribers within a mobile network.

How is a MIN different from a phone number?

A MIN is typically a 10-digit number that is used internally by mobile carriers to route calls, whereas a phone number (also known as a Mobile Directory Number or MDN) is a public-facing identifier that friends, family, and businesses use to call or text your phone. While the two numbers may be linked, they serve different purposes within the cellular network.

Is a MIN the same as an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number?

No, a MIN is different from an IMEI number. An IMEI number is a unique identifier for a specific mobile device, while a MIN is an identifier for the mobile service subscriber. The MIN is linked to the mobile network and SIM card, whereas the IMEI number identifies the physical device itself.

Do all mobile carriers use Mobile Identification Numbers?

Yes, all mobile carriers use Mobile Identification Numbers to manage and identify their subscribers within their networks. However, the use of MINs may differ slightly between carrier systems and network types, such as GSM, CDMA, or LTE networks.

Can I change my Mobile Identification Number?

In most cases, your Mobile Identification Number is automatically assigned by your mobile carrier and cannot be changed manually. However, if you switch to a different mobile carrier or change your SIM card, you may receive a new MIN, depending on the carrier’s policies and network configurations.

Related Technology Terms

  • Cellular Network
  • Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)
  • International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)
  • Mobile Station Integrated Services Digital Network (MSISDN)
  • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

Sources for More Information


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