Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked a total of 50 million devices since the implementation of Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).
According to PTA, these include 32 million GSMA valid and 18 million non-standard i.e. non-compliant devices. These devices were brought into Pakistan through grey channels causing security issues and revenue loss to the government of Pakistan.
Since the implementation of DIRBS, mobile broadband (BB) penetration has increased from 51.8 million subscribers in January 2018 to 76.8 million in November 2019 showing an increase of 25 million due to increased usage of smartphones. The total cellular mobile subscribers reached 165.4 million by the end of November 2019.
As per DIRBS regulations, all devices operating on mobile networks within Pakistan as of 15th January 2019 were registered. Devices with programmed IMEI which were not as per GSMA standards operating on mobile networks as of 15th January 2019 were paired/linked with the mobile number being used.
Imposing duties & taxes on mobile handsets comes under the ambit of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). According to FBR over Rs. 11 billion have been collected during this period from taxes on mobile imports.
PTA only validates an IMEI to ensure it is unique, GSMA valid, not cloned/duplicated or of non-standard formation.
Moreover, PTA has been diligently advising the public through print, electronic & social media and SMS to only buy PTA approved mobile devices and to check the status of each IMEI prior to purchase. The status of IMEI of the mobile devices can be checked through the website (dirbs.pta.gov.pk), SMS to 8484 or through the android application.