The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is sending text messages(SMS) to all of the mobile phone users in the country to verify their smartphones and GSM devices.
According to PTA, only the verified and registered mobile phones will work in Pakistan as the authority will block all other devices after October 20th, 2018 – a deadline earlier provided by the watchdog.
(Update: the deadline has been postponed several times by the government. and now the January 15th is the latest date announced by the PTA.
However, you can still check out the following steps to see if your phone is legitimate or not)
PTA has further emphasized that the citizens should only use the devices approved by the authority while asserted that strict measures would be taken against the usage of smuggled and non-compliant mobile phones.
How Can I Verify My Phone?
Although, PTA is sending SMS to all the mobile phone users in Pakistan, however, If you haven’t received an SMS, no need to worry as PTA has provided three ways to verify your devices with authority.
Note: before adopting any of the following methods, you need to have device’s IMEI number which you can obtain by dialing *#06# from your mobile phone and the number will appear on your screen. In the case of dual SIM mobile phones, two numbers will appear on the screen.
1- By Sending SMS
- Open ‘Write Message’
- Write IMEI number of your phone
- Send it to 8484.
2- With the Help of App
- Download and install this (Device Verification System – DIRBS from play store.
- Write your IMEI number in the search box
- Press submit
The app will tell you whether your smartphone is registered in PTA database or not.
3- Through Website
- Open this Link of PTA site from your browser
- Enter your IMEI number in the box and press submit
What Happens Next?
You are going to encounter one of the following messages;
1- IMEI is Compliant
This means that your mobile phone is genuine and PTA compliant and you will keep using the device after the 20th October deadline. This will happen for those phones which were bought in Pakistan from an authorized dealer.
2- Device IMEI Is Valid
It would mean that your phone is a valid device as per GSMA’s record but not PTA certified. It mostly happens when someone buys the phone from abroad or some friend/relative of yours bought it for you from some other country. Sometimes, we get our phones unlocked by a local mobile repair shop (iPhones or other network locked phones in most of the cases) and insert a local SIM to run it.
Again, there is a lesser reason to worry about because PTA will not block your phone if you insert a SIM into the mobile phone and make a call or send an SMS before the deadline mentioned above. PTA will auto-register such IMEIs.
Note: GSMA is a global body that validates the IMEI number of every phone/GSM device.
3- Invalid IMEI (Device IMEI Is Non-Compliant)
This is alarming because this message would mean that your phone is neither registered with GSMA and of course not with the PTA. It would happen for fake or tampered phones which are available for dirt cheap prices in the market, Or the phone belongs to a lot that has a stolen IMEI number imprinted on it.
There is a separate debate on how it happens, but for this verification process, you need to follow the following solution to save your phone from getting blocked permanently in Pakistan.
Maybe it was not your fault to buy such phone, and the culprit was the seller in actual, so PTA asks you to insert your SIMs in all the slots (in case of dual SIM phone) and make a call from each SIM or send an SMS before the deadline. PTA will auto-pair the phone with the SIMs inside at the time of making calls, and only the paired SIMs will work after that.
4- Device IMEI Is Blocked
This is the worst case in which your phone will not work after the deadline. It happens when you buy a used phone which was reported in a stolen activity earlier. PTA maintains a separate database of those phones whose IMEI numbers have been reported as stolen.
The effort from PTA is a result of years-long debate to fight the menace of smuggled phones in the country. Although a praiseworthy step from the authority it has been delayed several times. If implemented this time, it will help in regulating the mobile phone industry in Pakistan and instantly block the stolen phone in the future.