PTA Launches DIRBS
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Thursday formally launched a Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) which will allow for the blocking of stolen and smuggling cellphones, rendering them useless.
Scroll down for the detailed review video
The system will ensure that stolen and blocked phones, as well as phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers, are blocked.
PTA Chairman Muhammad Naveed made the announcement as the organization celebrates crossing a milestone of 50 million broadband subscribers.
The PTA chairman touted the acquisition of the DIRBS as a move that will “improve the telecom sector” by helping improve collection of tax and tracking down “illegal devices” in cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
With the launch of the first phase of the DIRBS, cellphone theft and smuggling will be eliminated and service quality will improve, the PTA chairman said, adding that government revenue would also increase in the process.
PTA’s Abdul Samad explained that in the first phase, stolen and lost devices would be blocked, while in the second phase devices that are in people’s use will be inspected.
Subscribers will also be able to inquire about the status of their devices, he added.
The DIRBS will be linked up to the GSMA database, he said.
Samad also said the government had issued policy directives for the launch of 5G cellphone services on which work is currently underway.
What is the DIRBS?
Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System’s (DIRBS) objective is to ensure a healthy growth of mobile device ecosystem in Pakistan. DIRBS will ensure use of legal devices on the mobile networks. The import, use, and growth of legal devices will enhance government revenues, improve the quality of mobile service to consumers, preserve network resources of the mobile operators, provide better security and ensure the protection of intellectual property rights. PTA will make sure that only type approved and legal devices are operational over mobile networks in the country.
According to ProPakistani, the purpose of the DIRBS is to ensure that non-compliant cellphones are not imported, sold, advertised or connected to cellular networks in order to protect cellphone user data across the country.
“It will further ensure that mobile licensees actively identify such phones on their networks and maintain and update the industry-wide database with information about such phones for the benefit of the mobile services sector worldwide,” ProPakistani reported.
“Stolen phones, blocked phones, and phones with duplicate or non-standard identifiers shall be blocked by the mobile network operator (MNO) from use in Pakistan,” the report added.
According to a PTA press release, subscribers can verify the authenticity of their cell phone devices by sending an SMS to 8484 and can visit www.dirbs.pta.gov.pk or download the DIRBS Android app from the Google Play Store.
Device Verification System – Check Status of your Device
To check the status of your device, go to www.dirbs.pta.gov.pk.
Now enter your device IMEI in the Check Status of Your Device Box. To get IMEI of your phone simple dial *#06# and you will get your IMEI No instantly.
If you have a dual SIM phone, just enter the first IMEI No and don’t write the numbers after the ‘/‘. Click on I’m not a robot. If you see any instruction like ‘select cars in the photo’ or ‘signboards’, etc as shown below.
Select those and your verification is done. Now simply click on ‘Check UP!’.
You will see your confirmation status and then some instructions for sending a message to anyone (or make a call to anyone to register). Simply send a msg/call to anyone and you are done. Finally, you will see a message showing your IMEI that your device is Compliant.
(if you don’t see the message simply refresh the page and re-enter your IMEI keep in mind prior this you need to send an SMS to someone).
To check the status of your device, send your IMEI SMS to 8484.
Install the DIRBS Android app from the Google Play Store and then check your device status.
While checking the IMEI number of your phone through the above three methods, there could be three possible outcomes for your phone:
- Valid IMEI: This means that your phone IMEI is GSMA approved but not PTA approved.
- Invalid IMEI: Not a GSMA approved IMEI, nor PTA approved.
- Compliant IMEI: It is both GSMA approved and PTA approved IMEI number.
PTA Launches DIRBS – Usage Instruction and Tips
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers | PTA Launches DIRBS
Q. What is an IMEI?
A. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity; a unique number per mobile device (phone, tablet, dongle, router, etc.) that uses a SIM card.
Q. How may I know the IMEI code?
A. IMEI can be found by various method.
- By dialing *#06# on your mobile dial pad.
- It is printed on box and device
- Go to settings > About phone > Status > IMEI Information.
- Remove back cover and battery of your mobile phone. You will find IMEI inside the Battery compartment (Only applicable for mobile devices with removable battery option).
- Go to Settings > General > About (Only applicable for IOS devices)
Q. What is a Compliant Device?
A. A compliant device means a device that fulfils the following requirements:
- Devices with valid IMEIs assigned by Global System Mobile Association (GSMA).
- Devices with unique IMEIs.
- Devices not in the stolen/lost lists (reported locally to the Authority and globally to GSMA).
- Devices type approved/having Certification of Compliance to Technical Standards for IMEI devices issued by the Authority.
Q. What is a DIRBS?
A. DIRBS (Device Identification Registration and Blocking System) is a system to cater counterfeit and illegal devices.
Q. What is a Device Verification System?
A. It is a module of DIRBS used to check/verify device compliance status. It has three modes:
Q. How may I know that a mobile phone is compliant before buying it?
A. Through Device Verification System. If IMEI status is compliant, it means that the device has a valid IMEI.
Q. How may I know that a tablet using a SIM Card has compliant IMEI before buying it?
A: The same procedure applies for all the SIM based devices including tablets.
Q. What happens to an existing phone that I am using today? Do I need to do anything to pair/register it?
A: If you haven’t received any SMS from your relevant operator, it means that your device is compliant and you don’t need to do anything.
- If you do receive notification from your operator regarding you device, then follow the instructions mentioned in that SMS.
Q. I have a mobile device which I have not used in a long time. Would it still be operational on the network?
A: You need to check its status through Device Verification System. If your device has a compliant IMEI, you do not need to do anything otherwise insert a SIM in your device and do some chargeable activity for example sent an SMS or make a phone call. This activity will help us auto-pair your device with your phone number.
- If you receive a notification message from you operator, then follow the instructions received in that SMS or contact your operator for further assistance.
Q. What if I buy a new device in Pakistan and it is not functioning on the network, what can I do to solve the problem?
A. You need to contact the seller to resolve this issue. It is recommended to buy only PTA approved device and verify you device IMEI status through DVS.
Q. What if I have an original device and I still receive notification message from my operator?
A: This could mean either of the following:
- Your device is being illegally imported.
- Your device’s IMEI has been detected as duplicate
Q. Can a phone have more than one IMEI number?
A: Yes, it can have more than one IMEI. It is recommended to verify all IMEIs of your device.
Q. Why is an IMEI blocked?
A. Because IMEI has been reported as stolen/lost and all such IMEIs are blocked as per PTA policy. IMEI (non-compliant) can also be blocked if the subscribers/users fail to pair their device’s IMEI before 29th June 2018.
IMEI can be blocked due to different reasons including but not limited to:
- If an IMEI is reported stolen locally or globally
- If an IMEI is found non-compliant and not paired before 29th June 2018.
- After 30th June 2018, if an IMEI is found non-compliant, it will be blocked within 15 days from the day it was first seen on network
Q. May I change my IMEI number?
A: Changing or modifying the IMEI is considered a fraudulent act with legal consequences. All such IMEIs will be blocked.
Q. Can an original phone have no IMEI?
A: No. All original/authentic devices have GSMA approved IMEIs.
Q. I am roaming in Pakistan; will I be able to use my mobile in Pakistan?
A: Yes. Roamers will be able to use their devices as per DIRBS SOP.
Q. I lost my phone (or it was stolen); may I call someone to request the IMEI block?
A: This remains a security issue that must follow the existing security procedures.
- Contact CPLC 24/7 Call Centre helplines 1102 021-35662222 & 021-35682222 for lodging complaint of snatched / stolen / Lost Mobile Phone.
- Provide IMEI No of snatched / stolen / Lost Mobile Phone along with other relevant information.
- Information of snatched / stolen / Lost Mobile Phone is sent to PTA for issuing blocking instructions to all mobile network operators.
- Mobile network operators block snatched / stolen / Lost Mobile Phone within 24 hours.