PTA launches two-step verification system for mobile phone registration in Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has introduced a two-step verification process for mobile phone registration via DIRBS. The decision has been taken in light of the recent revelation of illegal registrations in the country where around 4500 IDs including CNICs, Passports, etc. were used for fake mobile phone registrations.

To avoid such problems in the future, PTA plans to confirm the identity of the user with the help of the two-step verification process.

How Will the Two-Step Verification Work?

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Now, when a person will enter the mobile phone number while registering their device, it will automatically be cross-referenced against the biometrically-verified database of mobile phone numbers and users. Once authenticated, OTP (one-time password) will be sent on that number which the user then has to enter in order to complete the application which will be sent to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for verification.

In case the system fails to confirm the identity of the user, the application would be put on hold and the person will be asked to upload a copy of their CNIC, passport or their immigration stamp pictures for verification.

PTA registered a total of 357 million IMEI numbers by January 15, 2019, and later in April started blocking 2.8 million illegal phones with the help of DIRBS. The system which was build to curb mobile phone registration also showed several loopholes which led to people unblocking their devices in the black market and even theft of airline passengers’ data for fake mobile phone registration.

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