PTA won’t block Unregistered Mobile Phones after October 20th – Decision withheld by Senate Standing Committee

Unregistered Mobile Phones

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority – PTA, has been directed to hold on blocking unregistered mobile phones that the authority had planned earlier.

The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology expressed its reservations over the planned blockage of unregistered/smuggled mobile devices. Media reported earlier today that the committee had concerns over the plan as it’s not being executed well. Public was not properly informed, neither the consumers were made aware about the verification process, expressed the committee.

PTA earlier planned to block IMEI numbers of unregistered mobile phones which were illegally or not approved by the authority. The sole purpose was to prevent smuggling of the mobile phones and duplicate IMEI numbers. The fact, which is widely common in the country to evade taxes and custom duties.

The state’s authority has been working with its new system – Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) for a year. They recently announced with a warning issued to sellers, importers and in fact consumers that any device which is not verified by the system will be blocked after October 20th.

While the authority did inform the public via various channels, including direct text messages (SMS) to consumers, it remained unclear as how many consumers would actually receive and understand the alert.

It’s not clear as what exact reservations the Senate committee expressed, to prevent PTA going on with its plans, however there might be a few which are pretty much understandable.

Such as, if the consumer completely understood the issue what authority tried to tell them? Many mobile consumers especially in far flung areas are believed to not have knowledge reading text. Language (English/Urdu or any thing else) used in the text messages is another barrier for the users.

You can still learn about verifying your phone’s status if it’s PTA approved or not. However, being a consumer, you shouldn’t worry about any deadline previously issued by the authority, until further notice.

It’s worth noting here that PTA has extended its deadlines previously several times. This is just another extension.

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