PTA to set up a System to block stolen Mobile phones

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Mobile licensees is going to become members of the International Mobile Equipment Identity Database (IMEI DB, formerly the CEIR) being operated by the GSMA

In its attempts to stop the use of unauthorized and stolen mobile handsets, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided establishment of  Mobile Devices Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).The move has been taken to protect mobile phone users’ data.

PTA will establish DIRBS and prescribe Standard Operating Procedures for  implementation of DIRBS on technical, management and operational issues, according to the draft of Mobile Devices Identification, Registration and Blocking Regulations, 2017,

The planned system has come about out of the requirement of the stakeholders and customers of mobile handset users with the inclusion of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).

PTA Regulations on DIRBS:

Phone operators and type approval holders will have to ensure that non-compliant handset devices have not been imported, sold, marketed or connected with the phone operators’ networks.

Stolen, blocked, and phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers will be blocked by MNO(s) from use in Pakistan.

Phone owners/ subscribers will report their lost/stolen mobile devices blocked on the helpline of phone companies.

By submitting valid documents to PTA subscribers will have to prove the authenticity of their duplicated IMEI device(s) which have been blocked, and get services restored through pairing if the device is ascertained to be compliant as a result of scrutiny of the documents submitted to PTA.

Individuals desiring to import/carry device(s) for personal use will apply for certification of compliance with technical standards for IMEI devices issued by PTA.

Unregistered devices will not be provided Mobile Communication Service by the MNO (s) and will be put on the Blacklist by mobile phone operators if found operational on the public switched network.

Any blacklisted mobile phone will not give activation except for lost/stolen and type approved devices which have been verified by the mobile operators and DIRBS in accordance with the SOP approved by the PTA.

Instructions for Mobile Network Operators/ Handsets Companies:

Mobile licensees is going to become members of the International Mobile Equipment Identity Database (IMEI DB, formerly the CEIR) being operated by the GSMA, or others as applicable. Phone licensees will now include countries that have become the source of a large number of stolen devices to Pakistan in their IMEI DB notification profile.

 To educate consumers for the requirement to verify the validity of the phones being used and the procedure for verification of mobile devices available for sale/purchase, using the field verification system of DIRBS, extensive media campaigns will be carried out by MNOs,  through SMS broadcasts, at their own cost.

The MNOs, Authorized Dealers and Type Approval Holders will be establishing efficient methodology promptly receive, process and respond to complaints, by subscribers regarding their devices.

They shall make all reasonable attempts to resolve complaints according to the Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations, 2009.

Phone operators will not disclose the contents of any data that is being transmitted or received from DIRBS. It should remain under their control except to the extent allowed by PTA in writing or through any regulation/instruction/directive.

MNOs shall take all reasonable measures to protect the databases from unauthorized interception or access.

In order to maintain the updated list of IMEI numbers of devices in the DIRB System, all type approval holders/Authorized Distributers/ OEMs will have to provide accurate information of type approved phone for the issuance of a certification of compliance with technical standards for IMEI devices by PTA.

The complete draft of the regulations could be viewed here.

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