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PTA to block mobile devices with non standard IMEI starting December 1

November 28, 2018

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Phones on display at the mobile market on Abdullah Haroon Road.—White Star
Phones on display at the mobile market on Abdullah Haroon Road.—White Star

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority's (PTA) long-anticipated Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) will become operational from December 1, it was announced on Wednesday.

The DIRBS is an indigenous solution aimed to combat the use of smuggled or counterfeit sets which either serve to reduce tax revenues for the state or pose health problems to unsuspecting consumers.

Devices that were bought before December 1, and are not registered with the PTA, will still remain operational if they have a network connection. The authority will pair those handsets with the number of the SIM that is inserted in the device.

However, after December 1 all such mobile devices that have a non-standard International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) will be blocked by the PTA.

PTA has repeatedly reminded consumers to confirm the status of their mobile device through Short Messaging Service (SMS). Users who wish to know the status of a device can send its 15 digit IMEI number via SMS to 8484.

The status of the mobile device can also be checked via PTA website link www.dirbs.pta.gov.pk or by downloading DIRBS android mobile application.

PTA has advised all mobile consumers to check IMEI status of a device prior to buying or obtaining by sending each 15 digit IMEI via SMS to 8484 from December onwards.