PTA Will Block All Illegal and Unregistered Phones After October 20

Millions of illegal mobile handsets are at the risk of being blocked by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) after October 20 as part of a massive drive against fake IMEIs throughout the country.

According to the PTA, illegal mobile handsets that don’t come with a valid IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number will be blocked after the expiry of the deadline.

In this regard, the telecom watchdog formally circulated an SMS recently, asking people to get their handsets verified and check if it possesses a valid IMEI number. Otherwise, it will be blocked after October 20.

It also directed users to check and match their IMEI numbers with data from PTA by sending an SMS on 8484.

Only ten days are left till the deadline.

Scope of DIRBS

The telecom regulator has implemented DIRBS (Device Identification Registration & Blocking System, which is a system designed to reduce the use of non-compliant devices.

This system aimed at blocking illegal handsets include those with no or duplicated IMEI numbers, smuggled and snatched mobile phone and other SIM-run devices.

According to the telecoms watchdog, millions of handsets, have been smuggled or not registered with the PTA.  Reportedly handsets with duplicated IMEI numbers were smuggled or imported through grey channels. These handheld sets and other devices like tablets will be blocked by PTA after October 20.

At present, many handsets with duplicate IMEIs are available in the market, especially the low-cost, copy-cat versions of branded mobile phones. Those who bought these categories of phones might incur losses.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the telecom watchdog constituted a Type Approval system to reduce the availability of handsets with invalid or no IMEI numbers at the imports stage.

DIRBS Challenge

The public at large is not aware of the DIRBS campaign. Even though the procedure of getting your IMEI verified is simpler, however it might not work for people belonging to rural and far flung areas, given the low literacy rates there.

Even some senior citizens in cities might not get understand the procedure of IMEI verification until their relatives and friends guide them within the given period.

The telecom authority should consider sending SMS in English as well as in national and regional languages. It should also put advertisement on media and collaborate with operators and handset makers to drive an awareness campaign.

Benefits of DIRBS

DIRBS has been designed to enhance government revenue by allowing devices that have been imported through proper channels. DIRBS will not only monitor devices being brought into the country in the future, but will also check the installed base of devices currently active or being sold in the channel.

Furthermore, DIRBS shall facilitate importers of legitimate devices through legal import channels. In short, DIRBS and its successful implementation will benefit the entire mobile ecosystem in Pakistan.

This is not the first time that PTA has been working on blocking of illegal, smuggled and counterfeit phones/tablets based on IMEIs. In fact PTA made similar attempts previously at least thrice in 2008, 2010 and 2013, which proved unsuccessful as IMEI of phones can be changed easily.

Alongside of maintaining the list of IMEIs of illegal, smuggled and stolen phones under DIRBS, PTA will also have to shut down all those mobile shops that offer flashing of IMEIs of mobile phones.

Procedure to Check IMEI

  • From Device packaging/box
  • From Device (under battery)
  • By dialing *#06# USSD command

Procedure to Verify IMEI

You can read this post to know details about DIRBS and its procedures, and secure your phone against getting blocked.


  • Ateek Sheikh

    What about mobile phones purchased from foreign countries?

    • Alcadeias

      I got my phone outside Pakistan and when I checked online on the portal for verification, it shows IMEI is compliant.

      • Ateek Sheikh

        Means IMEI compliant phones are good to go?

        • Alcadeias

          I suppose so because verification of phones (proper registered brands) purchased within Pakistan shows the same message.

          • Ateek Sheikh

            Thanks yara.

        • Umair Anjum

          Yes compliant ya valid likha aye to good to go ek call ya sms lazmi karlo sub dual sim mobiles ke 2 imei numbers hotay hain code *#06# mila ke dekhlo dono he imei check karlo imei number ko 8484 per sms karke

          • Shakeel Ahmad

            what about broken screen? kese krun register? imported hay, matlb valid hay, but pta se kese krun?

      • Alcadeias Lord of Spirits??

        • Alcadeias

          Shhh! ;- )

      • Umair Anjum

        Agar compliant hai to regestered hai koi masla nahi agar valid likha ata hai tub bhee theek hai

      • Umair Anjum

        Compliant aur valid likha anay ki surat mein mobile chalta rahega bus ek call ya sms karlayna 20th october 2018 se pehle agar non compliant ya block likha ayae to masla hoga mobile imported ho ya local bus compliant ya valid likha ana chaheeyay to koi issue nahi inshaallah aur ek baat dual sim mobiles ke 2 imei numbers hotay hain dono ko sms bhej kar check karo valid ya compliant aur uske baad ya ek call ya sms karna mat bholna 20th october 2018 se pehle thank you

    • they most probably will be “valid IMEI” which needs to be registered which is free and automatic till 20th Oct as per PTA. However there is a problem with auto registration i guess.

      • Umair Anjum

        Valid likha anay par koi masla nahi hoga bus ek call ya sms karlo 20 october 2018 se qabal to after 20 october 2018 ke baad bhe chalta rahayga

  • Awais Zaki

    how to register then?

    • MAHAR SHOAIB

      Device IMEI is Valid. Insert SIM and make a call/SMS to anyone on or before 20/10/18 date for auto registration.

      • Umair Anjum

        Iska matlab apka mobile valid hai regester hojayega bus 20 oct 2018 se qabal call ya sms karlo to sub theek rahayga

    • Umair Anjum

      *#06# se apna imei dekho aur us imei ko 8484 per sms send kardo agar reply mein compliant ya valid likha ayay to koi masla nahi bus 20 oct 2018 se qabal ek call ya sms karlo takay active/regester hojayay

    • Umair Anjum

      Dual sim mobiles mein 2 imei number hotay hain ek ek karke 8484 per sms karo

  • shaitan

    Smugglers need to up their bribes to PTA officials.

  • DIRBS is not automatically registering these phones with Valid IMEI. Have you checked?

    • MAHAR SHOAIB

      Device IMEI is Valid. Insert SIM and make a call/SMS to anyone on or before 20/10/18 date for auto registration

      • Shehzad Ahmed

        Matlab kya hai is message ka bhai smjh se bahir ho gya hai.. Call tou rooz kar rhy hain Auto Registration kesy ho gi ?

        • Umair Anjum

          Valid or compliant means its ok 100% no issue bus 20 october 2018 se qabal call ya sms karlo to regester hojayega pta ke pass koi masla nahi hoga

    • Umair Anjum

      *#06# se apna imei dekho aur us imei ko 8484 per sms send kardo agar reply mein compliant ya valid likha ayay to koi masla nahi bus 20 oct 2018 se qabal ek call ya sms karlo takay active/regester hojayay

  • Aadi

    My mobile status is showing IMEI is valid, but I am living out of country and can not register from out of country to PTA, when I back to Pakistan so what will happened my mobile will be blocked “right, so how can register the mobile with PTA before or after 20 October 2018, anyone can explain.

    • Umair Anjum

      Apko chaheeyay country se bahar janay se apna imei number 8484 per sms kardein agar reply mein compliant ya valid likha aye to ek call ya sms 20 october 2018 se pehle aj he karlein to koi issue nahi hoga mobile local ho ya imported koi masla nahi dual sims phones mein 2 imei number hotay hain ek ek karke 8484 per alaida alaida sms kardein koi issue nahi

      • Aadi

        valid likha he msg me lakin mujy batain ke ab call me bahar ke number se hi karo ya pakistan ke number se or ye call pakistan karni he ya local. kindly explain me

        • Umair Anjum

          agar aap pakistan mein ho to pakistani sim se he pakistan mein he call karlo just for few seconds to koi masla nahi hoga

          • Aadi

            me pakistan se bahar ho us ke liye batain me kia karo

  • Ahsan

    What if someone purchases a smuggled phone after 20th October and tries to get it registered with PTA by saying that the phone is a gift or purchased from abroad, what is the catch here?

    • Umair Anjum

      Sir apne jub bhe new phone buy karna ho koi bhee brand simply buy karte waqt apni sim dal lein aur dualsim smartphone mein 2 imei hongein un dono imei koi alaida alaida 8484 per sms kardein agar reply mein valid ya compliant likha aye to uske baad ek call ya sms dono sim slots mein sims daal ke dono sims se ek ek call ya sms karlein koi issue nahi hoga inshaallah

    • Umair Anjum

      Agar block ya non compliant likha ayay to mobile mat lein aur authorised dealers se lein

      • Ahsan

        Bhai sawaal yeh hai k PTA kesey differentiate karega k phone illegal smuggled hai ya mene kisi se mangwaya hai ya koi bahir se laya hai?

  • Abdullah Hussain

    IME mn online register kiya ha thk ha k ni…. or comlaint likha aa rha ha

  • Jan

    I have a valid IMEI but I am out of country and will be back in Pakistan after the 20th Oct date.
    Any has idea if I call to Pakistan with the current phone using international SIM, will it work? DIRBS registration requires some custom certificates etc which I will not have since its a personal phone.

  • Ahmed Bangash

    I am getting an iphone from USA which a friend will bring with him on October 21st. What is the procedure to register my phone then and will I have to pay a fee for registration? I dont wanna pay another $100 as customs.

  • Umar Mughal

    hi koi baa sakta hai 20 october k baad ager abroad sy mobile aye tu kasy register hoga plz tell me

  • Shakeel Ahmad

    My imported (valid IMEI) phone’s screen is cracked and no way to do sms or call to register it automatically anytime soon before 20 October 2018.
    How can i save my mobile?