PTA to Formally Launch System to Block Unregistered & Smuggled Phones on Thursday

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has established the Mobile Devices Identification, Registration and Blocking Regulations System (DIRBS) to ensure that stolen and blocked phones, as well as phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers, are blocked in the country.

DIRBS will be formally launched in a ceremony on Thursday, where PTA will also celebrate the 50 million mobile broadband subscribers milestone.

PTA has established the DIRBS to ensure that non-compliant mobile device are not imported, sold, marketed or connected with the mobile operators’ networks. The move has been taken in order to protect mobile phone users’ data across the country.

It will further ensure that mobile licensees actively identify such phones on their networks and maintain and update industry-wide database with information about such phones for the benefit of the mobile services sector worldwide. The regulations are notified under the Telecommunications Policy of 2015 on the type approval regime for telecommunications.


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The PTA has established DIRBS and prescribes standard operating procedures (SOPs) for its implementation on technical, management and operational matters. Stolen phones, blocked phones, and phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers shall be blocked by the mobile network operator (MNO) from use in Pakistan.

The Working Procedure

The DIRBS already has the necessary hardware and software to implement the system for analysis. It will comprise of a core analysis system combined with subsystems to support verification of IMEIs by stakeholders, registration of IMEI paired exceptions, and import of various inputs including operator device data dumps, GSMA device database, importer device lists, and stolen device lists. The analysis will be performed to allow for identification and tracking of non-compliant devices in accordance with these regulations.

A device verification system interface will be provided by the PTA to type approval holders and authorized distributors for registration and identification of IMEI displayed on the mobile device to verify whether or not the device is a compliant mobile device which has received certification of compliance for technical standards for IMEI devices from the PTA.

The format of the system specified in sub-regulation shall be in accordance with an SOP to be issued by the PTA on notification of these regulations. Authorized distributors and OEMs which are type-approval certificate holders will be required to apply for certification of compliance to technical standards for IMEI devices to the PTA before import or shipment to market as per the prescribed format by the PTA in the type approval regulations, 2004.


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Devices imported and shipped in accordance with sub-regulation (2) will be eligible for registration. Individuals importing or carrying a device or devices for personal use will be required to apply for certification of compliance to technical standards for IMEI devices issued by the PTA in accordance with the PTA guidelines and SOPs issued from time to time, as well as the PTA type-approval regulations, to become eligible for registration of the devices.

All non-compliant mobile devices will be included in the blacklist by means of the DIRBS system. Updated blacklist, exception list and notification list will be provided by means of the DIRBS to MNOs at regular intervals. The blacklist will be sent to all MNOs periodically through the DIRBS interface. All devices whose IMEIs are included in the latest blacklist will be denied mobile communication service by the MNOs.

Any blacklisted mobile device will not be activated except for lost/stolen and type approved devices which are verified by the MNO and DIRBS in accordance with the SOP approved by the authority. Subscribers may report their lost or stolen mobile devices and get them blocked on the MNO helpline.

Subscribers may prove the authenticity of their duplicated IMEI device(s) and get them blocked, by submitting valid documents to the PTA and they get services restored through pairing, if the device is ascertained to be compliant after scrutiny of the submitted documents to the PTA. Mobile licensees will become members of the International Mobile Equipment Identity Database (IMEI DB, formerly the CEIR) operated by the GSMA, or others as applicable. Mobile licensees will include countries that are the source of a large number of stolen devices to Pakistan in their IMEI DB notification profile.

The Responsibilities of Mobile Operators

All MNOs shall carry out extensive media campaigns through SMS broadcasts, at their own cost, to educate consumers for the requirement to verify the validity of the mobile devices in their use and the procedure for verification of mobile devices available for sale/purchase, using the field verification system of DIRBS.

The MNOs, authorized dealers and type approval holders shall establish an efficient methodology to receive process and respond promptly to complaints by subscribers regarding their devices. They shall make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints in accordance with the Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations, 2009. Mobile operators shall not disclose the contents of any data being transmitted or received from DIRBS. It must remain under their control except to the extent permitted by the PTA in writing or through any regulation/instruction/directive.

MNOs shall take all reasonable measures to safeguard the databases from unauthorized interception or unauthorized access. All type approval holders/authorized distributors/ OEMs shall provide accurate information of type approved devices for the issuance of the certification of compliance to technical standards for IMEI devices in order to maintain the updated list of IMEI numbers of devices in the DIRB system.

The PTA will send intimation to all those subscribers who are using non-compliant mobile devices.

  • khuch samgh nai aye bhai sada zuban main bata do what about mobile imported from grey channel !! ? or someone buying online or getting it as gift from abroad??

    • Masla ban sakta hai, agr aap ke imported phones Type Approved nhin. Kyu k Pakistan mein har imported phone ki Type Approval karani hoti hai jis se us ka IMEI number PTA ki database mein jata hai. Lekin asal suratehaal to is system ke chalne ke bad he wazaih ho gi.

    • 1. Jab bhi aap new phone khreedte ho market se to us ke ooper ek PTA ka sticker laga hota hai. Uska matlab hota hai yeh phone PTA ke system myn registered hai via imei aur woh official launch hua hai. PTA ke paas aysay tamam phones ka record moujood hai.

      2. Jitne bhi phones sumuggle ya import ho kar pakistan aaye hyn aur networks per chal rahay hyn un sab ko sms aaye ga ke apne phones PTA se register karwa lyn (umeed hai first phase myn registeration free hogi). Nahin to kuch time ke baad aap ka phone blacklist myn add ho jaye ga aur networks nahin chalen gay.

      3. Es tarah chori shuda mobile jab report kiye jayen gay to unka imei bhi blacklist myn daal diya jaye ga aur woh bhi nahin chalen gay.

      4. Es tarah jo mobiles smuggle ho ker aatay hyn unko future myn pta se register karwana laazmi ho jaye ga aur uki pta ko fee dena hogi. Es tarah smuggled phone jo sastat miltay hyn 4-5k mehangay ho jayen gay aur smuggling ka faida nahin rahay ga.

      • PTA ka kaam yh dekhna nai k mobile smuggled Q hai,uska kaam telecom policies banana hai, lootne ka har wo mauqa jo yh PTA Wale ni janay dete. Telecom companies ko khuli chout di huwe hai k Load Card par jitne chahe paisay kato, helpline charges barha do, jo marzi karo bas hamara cut hamei do .. ta k PTA ka karobbaar chale

    • Nice try. Have you tried to change IMEI of any contemporary phone? Stop being a chay. Its not Nokia era any more.

        • It can’t be done just with rooting. Please get your facts straight before mindlessly insulting others.

            • Lets suppose you change your IMEI by using Xposed on Android, that IMEI also won’t be registered in DIRBS database. Meaning you will get a warning from PTA again for using non-complaint phone.

        • rooting will hurt your warranty with mobile company. also once root your new mobile. there is no going back. because in new mobile there is a special bit. even if you root and then un-root it back. they bit will burn. and you will lose your mobile original services. God luck

    • You mean that all those people owning Samsung,Apple & rest companies.WOW, creating new IME. If these companies generating IME to maintain their records are useless.We should feel proud doing this just for few rupees. In their mind they don’t have fear that they have to die.

    • First of all its not possible. And if some one suceeded doing this, MNOs will not give network access to that imei untill registered under pta system. And PTA system will deny registration when you try to register your samsung phone with some random Asus phone’s imei.

        • Rooting doesn’t allow change of an IMEI number. Who told you that?

          • He probably read it off google and thinks he’s an expert now. The days of changing IMEI with root are long gone.

            • Expose module only masks the IMEI and fools few apps.
              Network still reads a original imei from OTP chip.

              • Exactly, and even if you CHANGE the IMEI(which ain’t possible), how will you whitelist that IMEI into DIRBS? Noobies

  • A very stupid decision by PTA, as usual, when do they ever make sensible decisions?

    This will be a huge middle finger to everyone who gets phones from abroad or buys those US kits instead of paying the ridiculous prices set for officially sold models.

    PTA really doesn’t realize the amount of phones that are not officially registered here. Almost all iPhones are imported from abroad and many other smartphones too.

    • That the exact reason to implement this system. To stop grey import of iPhones and other phones. To bring them under tax and duties redar.

      • Indeed but when a person is visiting for long or short term, or even transit through Pakistan. That person can not use any sim because the phone is not on database? I think others are moving forwards and we backwards.

        It will introduce the culture of monopoly by big mobile phone brands and will affect the mobile communication companies drastically. It maybe a good step on a minor thought but now a days stolen phones in Pakistan are sold for parts and not to be used as whole again.

        • Mate, Mobile Snatching will gradually stop if they do it right!

        • Well your all reservations are based on your assumptions. It is not like when you enter a sim in non register mobile, it will blocked straight away or refuse taking service. It will take some time to add in blacklist. And people visiting pakistan for short time can register their mobile free of cost for short period of time through pta website. People at PTA h.q are not as big fools as you are thinking.

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