The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has successfully barred 175,000 devices utilising the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System in a significant effort to fight the problem of stolen and illegally modified mobile devices (DIRBS).
The system, which was put in place to find and stop duplicate or cloned IMEI numbers, has also helped to purge the local market of fake and subpar handsets, illegally imported mobiles, and mobiles that have not received GSMA approval for use on networks.
Official records state that DIRBS has found and blacklisted 5.28 million MSISDN numbers being utilised by 0.88 million cloned IMEIs as well as 29.56 million duplicate IMEIs.
With the emergence of a local handset manufacturing industry, the creation of jobs, investments by international mobile manufacturers, increased tax revenues, and 100% registration of handsets across all cellular networks in Pakistan, this has resulted in the establishment of a new mobile ecosystem in that country.
The MDM Regulations 2021, which permit businesses to receive MDM authorisation for a period of ten years, were released by PTA in an effort to further improve this initiative.
Up to 30 authorizations have so far been granted, with local manufacturers like VGO Tel and E-Tachi as well as foreign brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Nokia, Oppo, Vivo, and Infinix receiving them.
As a result, 30 local plants in Pakistan are now producing feature phones and smartphones, not just for the domestic market but also for export.
Pakistan produced an astounding 7.24 million smartphones in just nine months (January–September 2022), creating more than 26,000 skilled employment as a result.
Since most of the local demand is met by locally produced goods, this has also caused a notable decrease in the volume of CBU phone imports in 2021.
Data collected over a five-month period showed that CBU imports decreased further as a result of a significant shift toward locally produced mobile phones.
Using DIRBS, PTA has been able to tackle the problem of stolen and unlawfully modified mobile devices, which has had a good effect on the local mobile ecosystem in terms of job creation, greater tax income, and a move toward locally made mobile phones.