Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has introduced a two-step authentication process to curb the misuse of identity for mobile registration.
What is The Two-Step Authentication Process?
The applicant’s entered mobile number is authenticated against biometrically verified mobile number database and a one-time password (OTP) is sent via SMS to applicant’s mobile number. Upon entry of OTP code, an application is transmitted to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
In case of a failed authentication, the application is put on hold. The applicant will receive intimation via the system to upload a copy of their passport, CNIC & immigration stamp pictures. Upon validation, the system will transmit the request to FBR.
According to official documents, under the Device Identification, Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS) a total of 357 million IMEI were registered as of January 15, 2019 and the number of non-compliant sets which were blocked after January 15 2019 stands at 9.57 million. Another 10.66 million GSMA valid IMEI were also blocked.
Under the individual registration category, 986,191 devices applied under DIRBS where 656,920 devices were registered free, 33,830 registered with tax, and paid a total of Rs 74 million in taxes while 44,943 misuse cases were sent to FBR and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The federal cabinet has been approached with a proposal to withdraw Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Baggage Rules exemption for mobile phones to address the misuse of travel data and for the reduction in taxes and duties on new cell phones.
In line with section 9.6 of the Telecom Policy 2015, PTA has developed a system to;
(i) Eliminate counterfeit, non-standard and duplicate (IMEI) devices from the networks;
(ii) Support FBR in curbing smuggled mobile devices;
(iii) Address security issues due to usage of non-standard & duplicate IMEI handset.
As part of the federal cabinet decision, all devices seen on mobile networks as of January 15, 2019 were converted to compliant legal status. Thus, a total of 357 million devices have been convened to compliant status. Non-compliant devices seen on networks after January 15, 2019 and non-tax paid devices which are not registered (after 60 days) are being blocked in phases.