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PTA to Formally Launch System to Block illegal phones

PTA to Formally Launch System to Block illegal phones. In a bid to ensure the blockage of phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers in addition to blocked and stolen phones, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has nation wide established the Cell Gadgets Identification, Registration and Blocking Laws System (DIRBS).

The initiative aims at discouraging smuggling and theft of mobile-devices, by blocking illegal & counterfeit handsets operating in the country. Formal launch ceremony of DIRBS will be held on Thursday.

 As millions of Illegal and stolen mobile handsets, tablets, SIM based routers, Laptops and replica devices with invalid IMEIs are Smuggled to Pakistan and are sold in the country. Misuse of these unregistered handsets, for criminal and fraudulent activities, can’t be traced or monitored through mobile networks, that’s why PTA took strict action to avoid problems caused by these gadgets.

To help in identifying, monitoring & regulating illegal devices, DIRBS will use the distinct IMEI number of each device, along with other parameters.   The IMEI of the smuggled and illegal devices will be reported to the cellular companies and other concerned bodies as well.

DIRBS will be used as a ‘Centralized Equipment Identity Register’ to discourage the use of mobile devices that are smuggled through the Grey channel, by the telecom regulator of Pakistan.

The system enable the telecom to generate different lists, categorize the legal status and authenticity of all illegal handsets.


Every distinct IMEI will be paired with a specific ‘Computerized National Identity Card’ (CNIC) of the registered user of the handset. The registered user will be officially connected through a particular cellular network.

PTA has issued its new regulation, according to this regulation companies or individuals importing/carrying devices for personal use will necessarily have to register their devices and get a certification of compliance to technical standards.

If a device is found with an IMEI that does not meet the legal criteria, it will be blacklisted.

Another important point is that phones that are blacklisted will not be able to register or operate through any cellular network.

‘Exception Lists’ , ‘Notification Lists’ and Updated blacklists will be provided by DIRBS to the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) at regular intervals. And the lists will be used by the MNOs for blocking and unblocking of mobile devices & intimation to the subscribers, wherever and whenever required.

Mobile communication services will be denied to all the devices with IMEIs included in the updated ‘Black List’.

However, the specific IMEIs & their subscription Pairings included in the operator-specific ‘Exceptions List’ will be continuously receiving mobile communication services, even when their IMEIs appear in the Black List.

The ‘Notification List’ will also be only MNO-specific, so it will be used to indicate mobile devices with certain issues and the relevant MNOs may communicate with such kind of devices to help resolve the issues.

In case the device’s issues remain unresolved for a specific period, its IMEI will directly be sent to the Black List.

Any device that has been blacklisted by PTA would not be activated except for lost, stolen & type-approved devices verified by DIRBS in accordance with the SOP.

 ‘Compliant and Approved’ devices roaming in the country will be allowed to operate temporarily. MNOs will not permit the installation of any terminal equipment/device not approved by PTA.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority will install the required hardware, software & infrastructure for DIRBS to enable the mobile phone producers and network operators to report to PTA to get blocked any illegal device or businesses dealing in stolen devices.

To support this new system and block the devices placed in the Black List, all MNOs will upgrade their hardware and software systems at their own cost.

The intuitive will enhance government revenue and benefit the entire mobile ecosystem. It will also ensure that devices are only imported through legal channels.

PTA is also committed to shut down all mobile shops that offer the flashing/changing of IMEIs on devices, besides creating lists of illegal, smuggled & stolen phones.

This monitoring system is has been implemented in various countries around the world. The system has given positive results and consumers are deadly attractive towards it.


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