PTA to extend deadline for mobile phone registration, starts labeling valid IMEIs as non-compliant

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January 16, 2019
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Following the orders from the Senate standing committee, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is looking to once again postpone the implementation of its Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS). The new deadline for mobile registration will now be January 25th, 2018.
DIRBS, the mobile registration system launched by PTA, was scheduled to come into effect on from January 15 onwards. According to PTA, once the system takes place all unregistered mobile devices will stop working. However, the Senate body on Informational Technology (IT) and Telecommunication have asked PTA to extend the deadline owing to confusion and ambiguity regarding the understanding of the system.
“This system is too confusing for the literate to wrap their heads around. We cannot imagine how the illiterate will understand it,” said Senator Rubina Khalid
The PTA committee met with senator Rubina Khalid on Tuesday, during the meeting representatives from the ministry of IT, PTA and Members from Custom briefed the committee about the mobile registration system and how it will be streamlined for collecting custom tax on imported mobile devices. Member from PTA further assured the senator that the deadline for mobile registration will be extended to 25th January.
The PTA committee further mentioned that since the web-based online registration system for overseas Pakistanis wasn’t launched, they will have to visit the customs offices to pay tax/duty for their mobile registration. The senators in response to this showed annoyance towards the ill-preparation of PTA and advised the telecommunication authority to first launch the system and then determine the deadline. The Senate committee recommended another extension of the deadline.

Valid phones being labeled non-compliant

If the current confusion surrounding the DIRBS system wasn’t enough, a new problem has surfaced which displays the status of the phone as “non-compliant” despite the phone being previous labeled as “valid and compliant”. The PTA has neither commented nor explained this problem yet. A number of users have raised their concerns on their devices suddenly being labeled non-compliant.

It is being speculated that this is temporary and PTA is in process of database updation, which is causing this discrepancy over device status. However, owing to no official announcement or response from PTA as of this writing, this is all merely speculation.

Let’s hope that PTA will soon take care of this new issue, since a good majority of people are suddenly facing this newfound problem where their perfectly registered devices are now being given the status of “non-compliant”, adding to the confusion and uncertainty around this whole DIRBS implementation process.

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