Blocking Handsets with Duplicate IMEI Can Go Ugly

block-phone-numberWe have been hearing that PTA is preparing to block all handsets with fake IMEIs or what they are calling is “Duplicate IMEI”.

For the purpose, PTA (with the help of cellular companies) has identified handsets with duplicate/fake IMEI numbers and are sending out SMSes to such handset owners to prepare their alternative handsets or their SIMs will get blocked.

However, there is this problem that PTA or anyone is not able to identify that which handset (of two with same IMEI) is powered by Nokia or other legitimate manufacturer.

We have been receiving emails from our readers, who have original Nokia (or other branded) phones but are getting those SMSes about possible blockade of their numbers.

Here is one such comment we received recently:

I have received message on 21/04/2011 from P.T.A that my original Nokia handset model 5230 with IMEI no 354336043288687 is illegal.

I have purchased this set 6,7 months ago from a shop named International Mobile Zone, Hyderabad, Sindh and my set is still under 6 months warranty provided by United Mobile.

Kindly guide me how  to settle this problem unnecessarily created for me.

Yours faithfully
Aisha Parveen

You can see the misery of customers and time they will have to waste due to the whole scenario.

Few of them may end up actually loosing their Nokia phones, due to lack of awareness and ordinary support from phone vendors.

It is not that we are against the ban of fake IMEI handsets, but a million dollar question is: Why did the government allow these handsets to get imported in first place?

Now if Chinese handsets have penetrated so deep in our local industry, given they are workable, they are inexpensive – then why Government suddenly got worried about them?

If security concerns are for real or Government got tipped by the mobile phone manufacturers on this?

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