Technology

ISLAMABAD (APP) – Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked 108,031 mobile handsets over cellular mobile networks in the country during last one year under a system launched to curb the theft of handsets.

The Authority also unblocked 3,962 mobile handsets during the period. The year-wise data regarding blocking and unblocking of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number in PTA’s annual report on Sunday showed that during 2007-08 a number of 157,826 handsets were blocked, 127,568 were blocked in 2008-09, 130,298 blocked in 2009-10, 111,545 blocked in 2010-11, 84,849 blocked in 2011-12, 73,474 blocked in 2012-13, 95,750 blocked in 2013-14 and 108,031 handsets were blocked in 2014-15.

Similarly, the Authority unblocked 11,059 handsets in 2007-08, 7,675 unblocked in 2008-09, 6,807 unblocked in 2009- ,4,159 unblocked in 2010-11, 3,567 unblocked in 2011-12, 3,334 unblocked in 2012-13, 3,497 unblocked in 2013-14 and 3,962 handsets were unblocked during 2014-15.

The report said IMEI number is a unique 15 digit number embedded in every mobile phone, GSM modem or device with a built-in phone/modem by the manufacturer.

IMEI is used to identify each mobile handset including information about its model, make, manufacturer etc. PTA uses the IMEI number to block snatched, stolen or lost handsets when requested by their legitimate owner. In case the handset is recovered, its IMEI number is unblocked by PTA after necessary verification of ownership.

A subscriber can dial *#06# to get IMEI number of a mobile set. The consumer, after retrieving the IMEI number, must keep it somewhere saved so that in the event of loss of his cell phone he can register a complaint through this IMEI number which is mandatory information to be provided by the consumer while reporting an incident.

Before registering a complaint, the consumer will make sure the mobile phone connection is in his/her own name and will provide IMEI number along with SIM number (phone number), national ID card number, address and contact number.

Once a handset is blocked and it cannot be re-used, thus discouraging the snatching of mobile phone sets.