PTA begins the process of blocking 2.8 million illegal smartphones in Pakistan

By Faisal Saeed on
May 3, 2019
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Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has started blocking unregistered mobile phones in Pakistan. Under the blocking process which started on 30th April, PTA aims to block over 3 million smartphones which are deemed illegal in the country.

PTA says that there are around 3 million smuggled or non-custom paid phones in the country which includes both smartphones and feature phones in it. The phones will be blocked in several phases and the devices which PTA has included in its list are the ones which are not registered with the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).

The handsets which are smuggled into Pakistan after the second deadline (5th January 2019) which was announced by PTA will be the main focus in the smartphone blocking process.

PTA last year in May launched DIRBS, to block unregistered and stolen and smuggled smartphones in the country. The purpose behind launching the system was to curb the system of illegal or non-compliant phones from operating within the country’s jurisdiction.

In the beginning, PTA stated that the deadline to block illegal smartphones will be January 3rd, which later got extended three times and ended up on January 25th, 2019. But later in April, the PTA’s decision to block phones was challenged in the High Court by mobile companies in Pakistan.

After the long delay from the PTA, the Islamabad High Court last month ordered the communication authorities to make a final decision about unregistered phones within thirty days of their order.

If your phone gets blocked by the authorities, you cannot use that phone further and there is only one way to unblock that phone. Follow these steps if your smartphone gets blocked;

    • Go to PTA’s website http://dirbs.pta.gov.pk/
    • Click on the ‘DRS’ tab on the top right corner
    • Sign up with your Name, Email-ID, and CNIC number
    • Enter your smartphone’s model and a pre-calculated tax/duty will appear on your screen
    • Pay the tax amount and get your phone unblocked

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