Illegal SIM activation: PTA raids mobile company’s franchisees

Blocks 175,000 stolen IMEI devices

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), in collaboration with Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), has carried out another successful raid against illegal activation of SIMs at two franchisees of a mobile company in Rawat. During the raid, BVS devices, silicon thumbs, original CNICs and SIM cards were confiscated, said a news release issued here on Tuesday. A total of four suspects were arrested further investigation is underway at FIA. Earlier, PTA had filed a complaint with FIA based upon information regarding suspicious issuance of SIMs at the sale channels. The raids are part of PTA’s efforts to actively prevent attempts to circumvent the Multi-Finger Biometric Verification System (MBVS). The demonstrates PTA’s determination and persistent efforts in stopping illegal issuance of SIMs. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked 175,000 International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) devices to prevent the use of stolen mobile phones under the Device Identification Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS) during the last fiscal year. Besides, the DIRBS identified and suspended around 29.56 million IMEIs identified as duplicates, according to the annual report of PTA for 2021-2022. It also blocked 0.88 million cloned IMEIs identified as being used against 5.28 million MSISDN numbers. During the year under review, mobile subscriptions registered a healthy annual growth of 6 percent. In the domain of subscriber growth, Zong took the lead with 9 per cent growth, followed by Jazz (8 percent), Telenor (1.4 percent), and Ufone (0.7 percent). In terms of mobile subscriptions, Jazz led with a share of 38.6%, followed by Telenor (25.3%), Zong (23.1%), Ufone (12.1%) and SCO (0.9%).Over the last four years, Jazz and Zong have successfully increased their market shares while Telenor and Ufone saw a decline owing to lower investments and late entry in 4G market. Currently, 78% of Pakistan’s population is covered by 3G and 75% by 4G mobile signals, meaning that the needs of a vast majority are being catered. Pakistanis have access to internet and broadband services at the most affordable rates in the region. Notably, mobile 1GB data cost has further declined to 0.58% of the Gross National Income per capita-well below the UN Broadband Commission’s recommendation of less than 2 percent. The broadband and data cost targets listed in the National Broadband Policy 2021 (draft available on the MoITT website) envisage 80% broadband penetration by 2025 and 90% by 2030, with a greater than 30 Mbps average broadband speed by 2025, and 50% reduction in average price per gigabyte by 2025.