PTA is Launching a System to Block Smuggled/Stolen Smartphones Forever!

The launch of 3G/4G services in Pakistan has immensely increased the influx of smart phones and other mobile devices. And during this, millions of Illegal, smuggled and stolen mobile handsets, tablets and replica devices were floated in the country.

In order to deal with the inflow of illegal/invalid mobile phones in the country, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is launching a system called ‘Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) that will essentially eliminate any illegal or smuggled phones and devices in Pakistan.

PTA says that the system is designed to detect sub-standard, fake, stolen/snatched and illegally imported mobile phones operating in the country and block them forever from operating on local mobile networks.

How DIRBS Works

Primarily, International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number will be used in conjunction with other mobile indeifiers to categorize non-compliant devices.

Once a non-compliant device is found and detected by mobile phone operators, they will be black-listed and they won’t operate with any mobile network in Pakistan.

IMEI number is a unique identity number assigned to every mobile set in the world by GSMA through which individual devices can be identified.

How to know Your Mobile Phone IMEI

A mobile phone owner can check the IMEI of his device by any of the following methods:

  • Dial *#06# on the mobile phone
  • IMEI is also printed on the box of a new mobile phone
  • Make sure that the IMEI in the phone and on the box matches

You can expect more details on how non-compliant phones will be detected and blocked when system will be officially launched by PTA.

Benefits of PTA DIRBS for Users

  • Blocking of substandard and fake phones will improve quality of service as such phones are health hazarious and provide users with degraded quality of service.
  • Denying service to stolen/snatched phones will reduce the incentive for the people involved in criminal practices there by lowring mobile snatching incidents
  • The menace of illegal imports will be eliminated and legitimate businesses will flourish, providing opportunity for mobile operators to offer better packages to customers such as sale of top end smart phones on easy installments, better after sales service for mobile phones etc.

Additional Benefits of DIRBS

  • Curbing of illegal imports will increase customs/taxes for the government
  • Since each mobile phone will have a valid and unique IMEI it will be easy to trace them if involved in a crime, thus improve the over all securtity situation in the country.
  • Elimination of unfair competition for legitimate device importers.

How Can an Owner or Buyer of New Mobile Phone Check Status of His Phone

Before launch of DIRBS PTA will provide a Device Verification System (DVS) for the public that will be accessible through the DIRBS website/mobile app or through SMS to check the validity of the device.

PTA says that DIRBS will be implemented in a manner so that users do not face any problems in the use of their existing phones as they will continue to work but after a specified date all new phones coming into the country will be checked.

The whole process of cleaning illegal/invalid phones from the networks will remain seamless to the existing mobile users.

We will update you with more information before the launch of DIRBS system.

Tech and telecom reporter for over 15 years

  • Someone snatched a phone from my brother a few weeks ago, there is FIR but still no help. Anyone can please guide how can we get it blocked or tracked?

      • Please do write an article when it gets launched. Also is there any way to track block phone using current system if any?

        • with-in a month launch ho jaye ga, and agar koi current system hota tu yeh system launch nahi hota.

      • Did authorities consider:

        1- Issuing import permits for legal imports ? No, and it will never happen as it is one of biggest money making channel for officials of Pakistan customs. Karachi airport is one where customs mafia is very actively operating. You can import suitcases full of gold even if you know someone in Pakistan customs on Karachi airport.

        “Carry” agents charge from Rs.1000 to Rs.4000 for phones with money back guarantee to illegally import your phones in Pakistan via Karachi airport.

        2- Having a smooth and easy procedure unlike the one PTA currently has in place for import of mobile phones?

        3- Where this so called system will stand if IMEI numbers are changed along with other identifications of devices? It is very much possible, even Iphone’s iCloud can be removed, where Apple is considered to be more secure.

        • I had similar questions in mind. PTA says all this is addressed and that we will see that system will be seamless when launched.

          • Same question in my mind and all hafeez center or big mobile markets those rely on Illegal imported mobiles or used mobiles what will they do this is going to create another big fuss and i am expecting another dharana also people get gifts from abroad as well what will be mechanism of those sets will tax will be paid this seems serious issues.

  • what about rooted sets any body can change IME easily lool….. google cant track these in there store how could they do this kkkkk

      • sir its base on IME number, if telecos lets say ban number xyz for model say htc m9, what if i can change it to abc, then how telecos know that ..?

        • let me clear you, pta is creating whilte list database not a black list database, each phone has to be registered with pta with its imei, this can be done if all duties and taxes are paid so smuggled phone will have problem because their imei no. will be not in pta database hence they will not work

    • PTA says they have a way to deal with this. Let’s wait till the system is here so we may hard-test it.

  • Have the figured out a solution for the previous flaw where someone who bought their device oversees or are travelling from abroad will not be able to use the phone?

    They should allow users to register one or two devices with their CNIC like they allow for sims from several networks with a maximum limit.

  • Please confirm if the iPhones with Facetime available will be blocked by this system?

  • What a stupid thing to do. Instead of registering each and every IMEI with a NIC our govt. went to follow Turkish model. Now people will buy an expensive Android or stolen Android then a cheap 1500 rupees mobile. Change the imei to that cheap one and then they are good to go again. they will throw away the cheap phone.

  • Poor pta asa koi system introduce karwao jis se customer apna phone trace kr sake qk police nae karti help bagher rishwat k, jahan tak block ki bat hai unlock ho jaty hain piyare jo marzi kr lo ?

  • I have bought my mobile from USA when I was on vacations…. what will happen in that case.

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