The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority PTA blocks illegal IMEI (Internet Mobile Equipment Identity) devices numbering more than 175,000, since it introduced a mechanism to prevent the use of stolen mobile phones under the Device Identification Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS).
Besides, the authority identified and blocked around 26.03 million fake and replica mobile devices from the use on local networks, a senior PTA official said. Moreover, he said 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.” Since the implementation of DIRBS, the official said, the import of mobile devices via legal channels has increased by 62 percent with revenue of Rs 46.27 billion.
In 2020, he said 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. To a question he said, the government has introduced Mobile Manufacturing Policy in June 2020 to encourage local manufacturing.
Subsequently, the official said the PTA issued Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Regulations in 2021, a major milestone in the journey towards “Digital Pakistan”. 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.
After seven months of the MDM authorization issuance, he said 12.48 million mobile devices have been manufactured locally, which includes over 5 million 4G smartphones. The official said one company has also exported 5,000 “Made in Pakistan” smartphones to the United Arab Emirates.
“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.
“The local manufacturing plants are going to be instrumental for creating further job opportunities, enabling affordability for Pakistani users, and the export of devices to global markets,” the official remarked.