The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Thursday formally launched a Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) which will allow for the blocking of stolen and smuggling cellphones, rendering them useless.

According to ProPakistani, the system will ensure that stolen and blocked phones, as well as phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers are blocked.

PTA Chairman Muhammad Naveed made the announcement as the organisation celebrates crossing a milestone 50 million broadband subscribers.

The PTA chairman touted the acquisition of the DIRBS as a move that will "improve the telecom sector" by helping improve collection of tax and tracking down "illegal devices" in cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

With the launch of the first phase of the DIRBS, cellphone theft and smuggling will be eliminated and service quality will improve, the PTA chairman said, adding that government revenue would also increase in the process.

PTA's Abdul Samad explained that in the first phase, stolen and lost devices would be blocked, while in the second phase devices that are in people's use will be inspected.

Subscribers will also be able to inquire about the status of their devices, he added.

The DIRBS will be linked up to the GSMA database, he said.

Samad also said the government had issued policy directives for the launch of 5G cellphone services on which work is currently underway.

What is the DIRBS?

According to ProPakistani, the purpose of the DIRBS is to ensure that non-compliant cellphones are not imported, sold, advertised or connected to cellular networks in order to protect cellphone user data across the country.

"It will further ensure that mobile licensees actively identify such phones on their networks and maintain and update industry-wide database with information about such phones for the benefit of the mobile services sector worldwide," ProPakistani reported.

"Stolen phones, blocked phones, and phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers shall be blocked by the mobile network operator (MNO) from use in Pakistan," the report added.

According to a PTA press release, subscribers can verify the authenticity of their cellphone devices by sending an SMS to 8484, and can visit www.dirbs.pta.gov.pk or download the DIRBS Android app from the Google Play Store or App Store.

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Tough talks
Updated 16 Apr, 2024

Tough talks

The key to unlocking fresh IMF funds lies in convincing the lender that Pakistan is now ready to undertake real reforms.
Caught unawares
Updated 16 Apr, 2024

Caught unawares

The government must prioritise the upgrading of infrastructure to withstand extreme weather.
Going off track
16 Apr, 2024

Going off track

LIKE many other state-owned enterprises in the country, Pakistan Railways is unable to deliver, while haemorrhaging...
Iran’s counterstrike
Updated 15 Apr, 2024

Iran’s counterstrike

Israel, by attacking Iran’s diplomatic facilities and violating Syrian airspace, is largely responsible for this dangerous situation.
Opposition alliance
15 Apr, 2024

Opposition alliance

AFTER the customary Ramazan interlude, political activity has resumed as usual. A ‘grand’ opposition alliance ...
On the margins
15 Apr, 2024

On the margins

IT appears that we are bent upon taking the majoritarian path. Thus, the promise of respect and equality for the...