ISLAMABAD: The telecom regulatory authority on Saturday asked all subscribers with dual SIM mobile phone handsets to register their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers separately before Aug 31.

“There have been instances where subscribers who own handsets with dual SIMs have registered one IMEI number against the slot they use. Most users do not utilise the second slot and have either not registered the IMEI number against it or have forgotten to do so. Mobile device users with one IMEI registered, and the second IMEI not registered are advised to register all IMEIs.

After Aug 31, the unregistered IMEI in a dual SIM mobile handset will be blocked,” a statement issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said.

Mostly a mobile phone set has one International Mobile Equipment Identity number, but in dual SIM phones are two.

The IMEI is only used for identifying the device and has no relation to the subscriber. Number is used by the PTA to identify valid devices and therefore can be used for stopping a stolen phone from accessing the network in the country.

PTA explained that in order to register such devices, users can send an email at typeapproval@pta.gov.pk with details such as a screenshot of device showing all programmed IMEI, screenshot of device box showing IMEI(s), copy of CNIC, and contact details of applicants.

PTA said that it will evaluate all such requests, and validated cases will be registered accordingly. After Aug 30such SIM slots will not be registered or entertained.

To check the status of a mobile device, PTA has advised subscribers to dial *#06# and SMS each 15 digit IMEI to 8484.

PTA said that mobile device users were advised to have all IMEIs (dual SIM) of their mobile devices registered under its indigenous new mechanism called Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).

DIRBS has been developed to counter the smuggling and use of knock off mobile handsets in the country.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2019