Illegal, Smuggled Mobile Phones to be Blocked After October 20th: PTA

The final phase of Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) shall begin on 20th October 2018, said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in a statement issued today.

Authority said that this unique system will curb illegal imports, facilitate legitimate device importers, and mobile device users, and improve overall security situation.

PTA said that mobile devices having SIM/IMEI functionality operating on Pakistani mobile networks will not face any service interruption nor will be blocked by DIRBS.

Any mobile device reflecting non-compliant status after 20th October 2018 will be blocked as per Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)/DIRBS regulations.

Any mobile device obtained/purchased/imported after 20th October 2018 must obtain PTA Certificate of Compliance (COC) to technical standards.

In order to create public awareness, PTA is sending informatory SMS to all mobile subscribers to know the status of their mobile devices in use.

Telecom consumers can verify status of mobile device’s IMEI(s) by sending IMEI number via SMS to 8484, on the website: or by downloading DIRBS android mobile application from Google Play Store.

There are 4 categories of responses that can be received by a subscriber inquiring about status of its IMEI(s) as explained below:

  • Compliant Devices are PTA type approved and legally imported in Pakistan.
  • Valid Devices are such devices where the IMEI of mobile device is valid (GSMA approved), however it is not PTA compliant/approved.
    To facilitate such users, PTA will auto register all such IMEIs which are observed on mobile network before 20th October 2018 and their status will be compliant after-this-date.
    For auto registration, users are advised to do any revenue generating activity i.e. make any call, send a SMS or use mobile internet before 20th October, 2018.
  • Non-Compliant devices are such devices where IMEI is either not allocated by GSMA or it is duplicated. To facilitate such users, PTA will auto pair all such IMEIs which are observed on mobile network with specific SIMs before 20th October 2018. After this date, those users will be able to use these IMEIs with paired-SIMs-only. In order to auto pair all the IMEIs related to this mobile device, users are advised to do any revenue generating activity from their SIM(s), i.e. make any call, send a SMS or use mobile internet from their SIM(s) before 20th October, 2018.
  • Blocked devices indicates that your IMEI is blocked as this IMEI has been reported stolen earlier.

It is reiterated that mobile device users should verify their IMEI by sending SMS to 8484 before buying/obtaining any handset.

It is advised to buy only PTA compliant/approved mobile devices.

For further details, mobile phone users can visit PTA website (

  • They have not provided the complete details. What about the people coming from other countries who have mobile phones on international roaming or who are coming to stay in Pakistan for few months ? do they have to buy a new phone for pakistan ? what about the people who buy phone for themselves in another country I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work in Pakistan ? This system will create more problems than solving them. PTA should address all the scenarios before hand to avoid any inconvenience because people rely on mobile phones for their communication.

    • yes I also have the same query,dont know whats going to happen to our phones when we come from overseas

  • What about phones owned by oversees pakistani. Will they work when they come into the country.

  • this level of readiness from a telecom authority is absolutely appalling. The service representatives are unaware of what is going to happen after 20th. I asked a simply question, that I have ordered a cellphone for my personal use from abroad, which will be brought back to Pakistan by a friend after the 20th of October. I asked what the process was for registering that IMEI, and whether my phone would be blocked. The guy at the other end had no clue and said they would find out after 20th.

    PTA get your act together before sending out mass broadcasts.

  • There are lot of questions that have not been answered by PTA. If someone coming from Abroad can register their phones then why cant the smuggled phones get registered and how will they stop it?

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