ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked more than 175,000 illegal Internet Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) devices since it introduced a mechanism to prevent the use of stolen mobile phones.
According to a statement issued on Sunday, the authority identified and blocked around 26.03 million fake and replica mobile devices from the use on local networks under the Device Identification Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS).
A senior PTA official said that as many as 880,780 cloned, duplicated IMEIs against 5.28 million MSISDNs (Mobile Station Integrated Services Digital Networks) had been identified and blocked.
“The connectivity of smartphones on local networks has been increased from 35% to 51% as of July 2021 after the implementation of DIRBS,” he said, adding that since the implementation of DIRBS the import of mobile devices via legal channels has increased by 62 percent with revenue of Rs 46.27 billion.
According to the official, in 2020 around 38.14 million devices were imported with revenue of Rs 54 billion and in 2021, so far 20.91 million devices have been imported through legal channels.
He further said the government has introduced Mobile Manufacturing Policy in June 2020 to encourage local manufacturing. As of July 2021, he said the PTA has issued MDM authorization to 26 companies, including both foreign and local companies with brands like Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, Nokia, Alcatel, Techno, Infinix.
“The establishment of 26 manufacturing plants has brought in an investment of over US$ 126 million,” he said, adding that over 10,000 jobs have been created in a short span of seven months.