Pakistan Telecommunication Authority may start blocking Chinese handsets that come with no IMEI or with dummy IMEI, told us sources close to authority.
We cannot confirm the timeline as of now, but some preliminary work has been started on analysis of such handsets.
Not all Chinese handsets come without IMEI; rather these Mobile phones without an IMEI are typically low-end handsets from smaller Chinese phone manufacturers who cut costs by skipping the IMEI programming stage.
Handsets without IMEI are a threat to national security as they are reportedly used in illegal activities. A call made from a handset without IMEI makes it impossible to prove who made or received specific phone calls as cellular companies can’t trace the specific handset.
It may be recalled that India recently blocked 25 million handsets that were without IMEI.
Like India, Pakistani cellular companies may also offer re-programming of such Chinese handsets. In common words, through re-programming, IMEI number is embedded in a mobile phone to give it a legal status.
This movement is also supported by handset manufacturers as Chinese handsets are source of headache for mobile phone manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung and others. Sales of branded phones have been impacted significantly after low-cost Chinese handsets penetrated into Pakistani and other developing markets.