PTA might Start Blocking Chinese Handsets without IMEI

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.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Umair Ansari


  • Shahzad Khan

    but my handset is working f9 and its have no IMEI … its mean i have to sell it before its too late….any confirmation from authority Aamir?

    • PTA may take some time, before they finalize the regulation for blocking such handsets

  • Noor Muhammad

    PTA is unable to block the unregistered SIMS which are currently in use then how PTA can implement this rule. People having unregistered SIMS are still using those. Only inactive and unregistered SIMS have been blocked.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohan

      Yeh! Its a fact. But i think blocking handsets would be easy, as you just have to make some changes in the system, and make them accept only Registered IMEI’s.

  • samz

    But what is the market share of these Chinese sets?

  • Altaf

    It’s good though, but the problem is that only end user will get effected. Because if some one bought a set which gets blocked, he’ll not be compensated for that.
    Although in long run, it’ll discourage sellers from selling such phones, but still at large scale it’ll initially effect consumers.

    I hope, some compensation plan is made for those who’ll be effected by this.

  • Black eyes

    I have dual sim chinese set when i query for IMEI i.e. *#06# it gives me 2 IMEI numbers is it correct set

  • Zepac

    NO way Dear
    Clone Sets not effected….

  • Imran Shaukat

    We are living in free economy era and liberty to purchase whatever brand we like provided if it is not harmful in use. Though, I am not a Chinese phone user but still feel pity for them who are using it. What objective can be achieved by blocking them? Amir, please shed some light on it. Just look in the local market, you will hardly find any phone which has IMEI number manufactured by (Nokia, Samsung etc,) and still associated with the guy who purchased it. If blocking them is inevitable then authorities must devise a process in which IMEI number should be added in the database along with the buyer information. And with every resale of the devise this data should be updated. I am posting above suggestions considering national security concern.

    Having said, we can achieve nothing but to add another achievement with certainly no profit at all. If authorities execute such action, I think this would be in response to business threat from Chinese phone to other big brands.

    Tell me if I am missing something, would like to learn about if any one has some thing valuable to say.

    • Imran, maybe you misunderstood the idea of blocking those phones without IMEI. Every phone has hard coded IMEI number in it, and is like mac address of LAN network cards.

      This IMEI number is embedded in mobile phones by manufacturers, from a list of series that is obtained from a central authority. Now those companies who skip this, to avoid cost are going to get blocked, if decided by PTA.

      For more on IMEI:

  • M Hussain

    Thanks to Allah , That my china set have IMEI.

  • Hammad

    Well, ye tu hona hi tha…..! :)

  • Zahid Hassan

    To check whether you IMEI is registered or not,
    link on below link and enter your IMEI(IMEI can be seen by *#06#).

    If it is showing details of your handset then consider you handset as registered handset and PTA will not block it.

  • Amir

    haahaha.. PTA waloon nay sab ki watt laga di hai ab..:)