Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked a total of 50 million devices since implementation of Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS). According to PTA these includes 32 million GSMA valid and 18 million non-standard i.e. non-compliant devices. These illegal devices were brought into Pakistan through grey channels causing security threat and revenue loss to the Government of Pakistan.
Since 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 smart phones. The total cellular mobile subscribers reached 165.4 million by the end of November 2019.
50 Mn Illegal Devices Causing Security Threat & Revenue Loss Blocked by PTA Last Year- Broadband Grows by 25 Mn
As per DIRBS regulations, all devices operating on mobile networks within Pakistan as of 15th January, 2019 were registered. PTA also reported that more than 100 Mn Devices IMEI which were not as per GSMA standard operating on mobile networks as of 15th January, 2019 were paired/ linked with the mobile number being used providing them amnesty by the Government so that the consumers are not effected.
Imposing of duties & taxes on mobile handsets comes under the ambit of 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 running media campaigns and also advising the public through print, electronic & social media and SMS to only buy PTA approved mobile devices and to check status of each IMEI prior to purchase. The status of IMEI of mobile device can be checked through website (dirbs.pta.gov.pk), SMS to 8484 or through android application.
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