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New mobile phone registration system comes into force

Updated December 02, 2018

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Confusion about the system persists among users; people unsure if their mobile phones will become junk from Dec 2. — File
Confusion about the system persists among users; people unsure if their mobile phones will become junk from Dec 2. — File

ISLAMABAD: As soon as the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) implemented its new mobile phone registration system, some users complained of being unable to connect to their networks.

“There is a message that reads that mobile network is unavailable though signals are showing. I have not been able to make and receive calls the whole day,” said Rehmat Khan, who got a Samsung set as a gift from the UK.

Irfan Sheikh, who also got a mobile phone as a gift from abroad, also complained that he was unable to receive calls.

“Dialers complain of a recorded message that my phone is off,” he said.

Confusion about the system persists among users who are still unaware how the system works and if their mobile phones will become junk from Dec 2 (today).

When contacted, the PTA maintained that all cell phones had been automatically registered with the authority.

“All cell phones prior to the implementation of the phone registration scheme have been synced with their respective networks. Phones purchased after Dec 1, the date of implementation of the new system, will now have to be PTA compliant,” a senior official told Dawn on Saturday.

He said the PTA had developed the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) to curtail counterfeit mobile phone usage, discourage mobile phone theft and protect the consumer interest.

These are devices that are not registered with the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA) and may be mass produced by manufacturers who do not comply with international standards of production, resulting in the infiltration in the market of counterfeit, possibly hazardous, mobile phones.

The official said the system had been developed to identify substandard, fake and illegally imported mobile phones, register and block the non-compliant devices. He recommended that consumers purchase only the PTA approved mobile phone sets after Dec 1.

Consumers can text the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) printed on the box of brand new handsets to 8484. They should only pay for the handset after they receive a reply from the PTA that the mobile phone set is compliant with its regulatory standards.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2018

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