PTA DIRBS initiative was applauded at the recently concluded ITU-NBTC Asia-Pacific Regulators Round table and Training Session” in Bangkok from 2nd to 6th September 2019.
International Experts speaking at the special session on Addressing Illegal, Counterfeit and Stolen Devices emphasized on country regulators to adopt and implement the necessary policy, regulations, and technical solutions to overcome the menace of counterfeit, illegal and stolen mobiles.
The sessions addressed by Samer Sharma from ITU, Michael Milligan, Secretary-General, Mobile & Wireless Forum, Recep Esler, Qualcomm highlighted the case of Pakistan, where PTA efforts to combat the issue of illegal device imports were applauded.
The ITU experts highlighted how the DIRBS system works and how effectively it is addressing the issue of illegal, counterfeit and stolen devices. PTA launched DIRBS across Pakistan in order to curb the import & use of illegal devices. The system can identify sub-standard, fake, and illegally imported mobile phones, register and block non-compliant devices on mobile phone networks. The implementation of the DIRBS is now controlling the multi-million dollar losses to the country.
PTA has also introduced a Device Verification System (DVS). Through the DVS system, people can check whether their devices are compliant or non-complaint even before they make a purchase. The import of illegal phones was causing huge damage to the economy of the country, therefore, PTA started blocking illegal mobile phones after several warnings, still providing them an option to register their devices through an online registration system.
Globally, it has been found that one in seven handsets are counterfeit. It is a growing problem as fraudulent devices frequently contain malware that allows personal information to be stolen. Directly or indirectly, illegal devices are encouraging crimes and terrorism.
For readers’ information, the ITU and NBTC organized the “ITU-NBTC Asia-Pacific Regulators Round table” (2-3 September 2019) and the ITU-NBTC International Training Program (4-6 September 2019) in Bangkok, Thailand. The event was also supported by the Department of Communications and the Arts, Government of Australia.
For over nine years, the Regulators’ Round table has provided telecommunication/ICT regulators in the Asia-Pacific region with a platform that fosters dynamic and strategic discussions, sharing of information, relevant experiences and practices as well as conclusive debates on possible solutions and opportunities for potential collaboration to address emerging regulatory issues and challenges.