In 2018, you probably got many texts from 8484 to confirm the verification of your mobile devices. They wanted you to register your devices before October 20th, 2018. Then, in the second wave, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said that if your phone wasn’t registered by January 15th, 2019, it would be blocked. So, if you didn’t want any issues with your phone, you had to register it through that service.

On January 16th, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority started blocking phones that weren’t registered with them. Many people hurried to register with the PTA so they could use their phones again. In simple terms, if your phone isn’t registered with PTA, you can’t make or receive calls or texts. But once your phone is registered with DIRBS, you can use it normally. In this research article, our Tashheer research team made a step-by-step guide to registering mobile devices in PTA. But firstly, you need to understand some important terms before mobile registration. 

In 2018, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority made a system called DIRBS which means Device Registration, Identification, and Blocking System. The main purpose of making it is to stop people from using illegal phones. Many phones are brought into Pakistan from other countries, DIRBS checks and stops these illegal phones from being used for bad activities.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is the telecommunication regulator in Pakistan started by Major General (R) Hafeez ur Rehman, responsible for the operation, establishment, and maintenance of telecommunication systems and the provision of telecommunication operations and services in Pakistan. If you want to learn about telecommunication companies in Pakistan than read our article Top 6 Telecommunication Companies in Pakistan

A Step-by-Step Guide to Register Mobile Device with PTA

IMEI number is like a unique ID or code given to your mobile phone, similar to a vehicle identification number. If your phone gets blocked, you won’t be able to use this cellular device on any mobile network in Pakistan, and you won’t be able to make or receive calls.

IMEI number which can be checked by any of the following methods:

Dial *#06# on your mobile.
Go to the ‘Settings‘ and then “About Phone” section of your smartphone.
Check the box, it is also printed on your mobile phone’s box.
If your mobile has a removable battery, remove its back cover and then the battery to find the IMEI number.

You will require an IMEI number to check if your mobile is registered in PTA or not. To check the registration of your mobile device, just send the IMEI number of your mobile at 8484 and you will receive a message back if your cellular device has been verified or not.

 Three types of messages you can receive back, include:

Your cellular device’s IMEI is Compliant. Here “Compliant” in this message means it is registered with PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) and you are eligible to do every activity on it (Make and receive calls, text messages, etc.).
Your phone’s IMEI is Non-Compliant, which means that your cellular device is not registered with PTA because the IMEI might be duplicated or not assigned by GSMA. But you can still use it for calls or texts with the sim Card that was paired with it before 21st Oct 2018.
Your cell phone’s IMEI is Blocked. Here “Blocked” in this message tells that it is blocked by PTA because the IMEI was either smuggled, reported as stolen, or not taxed. In this case, you will not be able to do any further activity and have to pay taxes to register your cellular device with PTA.

Before you start registering your phone with PTA, there are some important points you should know to figure out in case your cell phone needs registration or not.

If you are a foreigner or living abroad, you can use a cell phone in Pakistan for the first 120 days without any taxes according to the new March 2022 update from PTA. Previously, the strategy was eligible for only 60 days. However, if you plan to use it for more than 120 days, you will need to register your device with PTA.
All the devices that use SIM cards or have IMEI numbers, such as tablets, smartwatches, iPads, mobile phones, etc., must be registered with PTA.

See more: Mobile Policy Attracts 36 Companies to Manufacture Smartphones in the Country

There are four different methods to register your cellular device with PTA, listed as

Register Mobile Phone through USSD

Register your Mobile Phone with DIRBS

Register your Mobile Phone through Mobile App

Register Mobile Phone through Franchise

USSD is the first and easiest way to register your mobile phone and make it PTA-approved. To do registration via this method, use the following steps, mentioned as:

Dial *8484# on your cellular device
Then, you will be asked to choose a Language. Press 1 for English language or Press 2 for Roman Urdu.
After that, you will see different options. Press 1 for Registration of your Device
Next, you will be questioned if you are a Pakistani or a Foreigner. Reply with 1 if you are a foreign or Press 2 if you are a citizen of Pakistan
You will then be asked if your device is Foreign or Local. Press 1 for foreign or Press 2 for local device
Now enter your passport number or CNIC
Then reply with the number of SIM slots your mobile device has, that you will be asked about.
Write the IMEI numbers of your device, if your device has 2 SIM slots, you will need to write both IMEI numbers
Reply with 1 to finish this registration request. Your request will be sent to the PTA

If all the credentials you have provided are right, you will get a confirmation text from 8484. If not, just redo the above mentioned steps again.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Register Mobile Device with PTA

The second method to register a cell phone in PTA is with the DIRBS official website. In 2018, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority started DIRBS to stop illegal phones in Pakistan. In Pakistan, most smartphones and gadgets come from other countries like China or the United States because there are only a few manufacturing plants that make them here. To make sure these devices are taxed properly when they come into Pakistan, DIRBS keeps track of them and regulates all these devices. One big concern of DIRBS is to ensure that there are no smuggled phones left in Pakistan because many of them are used for illegal things. Regulatory duty has been removed on mobile phones in recent years Pakistan. To learn more about it read our article Regulatory Duty on Mobile Phones Removed in Pakistan

To register through DIRBS, follow the following steps:

First, you need to your browser and visit the official website of DIRBS
Click Login if you already have an account or click Sign up if you don’t have any account.
After clicking ‘Sign up’ on DIRBS, fill in your details to create an account.
Once your account is created, you will need to select your user type. (Local or Foreigner)
After selecting the desired type, you will need to provide information such as Passport/CNIC number, Mobile Number, Email address, and complete Home Address.
When you complete all the above actions, you will receive an email with a confirmation link of your registration process. Click on that link to confirm your account
Then, after logging in to your account, you will see a declaration window on the left side with an opportunity to create an individual COC. Click on it to apply for COC.
Now enter the IMEI of your device with your contact number.
You will shortly receive a text message from PTA to let you know whether your mobile device needs to Register with PTA or not.
You can track the status of your application by clicking on the “My Application” option.

The third method to Register your mobile phones is through PTA’s official app. This application only works for Android mobiles.

Go to the Play Store and download the PTA app.
Open the App on your Android phone once installed, and then follow the simple instructions to enter your IMEI Number.
If your IMEI number is not valid, PTA provides further steps for you to understand.

PTA has recently presented a new method for the public to register their mobile phones. Now you can go to any Customer Service Franchise of any mobile network like Telenor, Jazz, Ufone, Zong, etc. If the IMEI number of your mobile is Blocked or Non-compliant, you can visit their service center and they will register your mobile device in PTA.

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In this thorough article, our Tashheer team has covered four different methods to Register Mobile Phones in PTA. The easiest way in all these 4 methods is to register with USSD. If you are still unsure about any of the registration processes, you can also contact the PTA helpline:
PTA Help Line: 0800-55055

About the Author: Alishba

Alishba Zaheer is the lead content writer at Tashheer Digital and has a genuine passion for storytelling. With her team of skillful content writers, her expertise lies in the ability to seamlessly adapt writing style to various niches, checking new trends in Tech, especially in Pakistan. She stays ahead of the curve and maintains her dedication to writing excellence. Among other things, she has been instrumental in researching local brands, Pakistani products, and services, providing benchmark articles for Pakistani audiences.

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