Illegal Mobile Handsets Are a Threat To Public Security: PTA

Illegal and unregistered mobile handsets are a threat to public security as terrorists and criminals cannot be traced using mobile phones for any dangerous activity throughout the country.

Pakistan authorities cannot trace illegal and unregistered handsets available in the country, said Talib Dogar, DG Services at PTA while talking to ProPakistani.

In most of the cases, it has been observed that mobile handsets, usually without any identity, are used in terrorist and criminal activities. These handsets are either brought from other countries, local market, or these were snatched or stolen from the public.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has implemented a system called as DIRBS (Device Identification Registration & Blocking System), which will simply make a non-compliant handset useless. It means handsets will not work on local networks.

A handset or any SIM-run devise is now required to be registered with PTA’s system. An IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification) number of a phone is the 15 digit code, which should be available in PTA’s database or later a user could register his phone with PTA system.

A mobile phone of a local distributor is usually registered with a PTA system. If your SIM works in the handset, it means it has been registered already. Handsets brought from different countries should be registered with PTA’s system first.

PTA To Facilitate Public For Registration of Mobile Handsets

Talib Dogar told ProPakistan that PTA will facilitate public in their SIMs and handsets through DIRBS. The process is simple and you just need to register your mobile phones with the PTA system before October 20.

After the first deadline, PTA will send messages to all unregistered handsets and ask them to get registered with DIRBS.

Those bringing handsets from other countries with valid IMEI should get registered with the PTA system. An individual will be allowed to bring only five handsets from other countries. They will pay customs duties and then get their handsets registered with PTA. In this way, their handsets will be able to work with the local networks

This is a phase-wise process that will take a few months to be completed. The telecom authority will carry out awareness campaigns in different cities to educate the public, he added.

Talib Dogar added that DIRBS is the advanced system, which was tested and trialed before the launch. This system will safeguard the interest of the public and the country curbing all grey channels including smuggling of handsets (feature phone and smartphones).

The influx of such handsets has been increasing as duties and taxes were increased multiple times over the period of last few years. These illegal and non-tax paid mobile handset cause losses worth billions of rupees.


  • Asher Ahmed

    Thru registration generate revenue for PTA- having Financial Officer Muhammad Naveed as Chariman definitely such moves helps to PTA generate revenue.
    Threat to security- SIMs can be track through user coordinates.
    money is everything for PTA.

  • ScarletCrimson

    Even someone who’s only visiting Pakistan temporarily will need to pay custom duties to be able to use his/her personal phone while in Pakistan? This seems a lot like extortion. Why are we having to pay customs duties on personal handsets anyway? If this is truly in the interest of the public, make DIRBS registration free for the masses who register 1 or 2 devices a year or so.

    • AbdulB1

      yeah 1 or 2 devices per year for personal use is ok.

  • ScarletCrimson

    Even someone who’s only visiting Pakistan temporarily will need to pay custom duties to be able to use his/her personal phone while in Pakistan? This seems a lot like extortion. Why are we having to pay customs duties on personal handsets anyway? If this is truly in the interest of the public, make DIRBS registration free for the masses who register 1 or 2 devices a year or so.

  • AbdulB1

    An individual will be allowed to bring only five handsets from other countries. They will pay customs duties and then get their handsets registered with PTA……….. this five phone rule is disastrous I mean come-on phone sold in Pakistani market are way too expensive and sold on 35 percent duty.