Saturday, February 22, 2020

PTA Has Blocked 50 Million Phones Since January 2019

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Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked a complete of fifty 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 govt 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 a rise of 25 million thanks to an increased usage of smartphones. the entire cellular mobile subscribers reached 165.4 million by the top 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 weren’t as per GSMA standards operating on mobile networks as of 15th January 2019 were paired/linked with the mobile number getting used .

Imposing duties & taxes on mobile handsets comes under the ambit of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). consistent with FBR over Rs. 11 billion are collected during this era from taxes on mobile imports.

PTA only validates an IMEI to make sure it’s unique, GSMA valid, not cloned/duplicated or of non-standard formation.

Moreover, PTA has been diligently advising the general public through print, electronic & social media and SMS to only buy PTA approved mobile devices and to see the status of every IMEI before purchase. The status of IMEI of the mobile devices are often checked through the web site (dirbs.pta.gov.pk), SMS to 8484 or through the android application.

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