Islamabad, Jul 3: The Chinese cellphones that flooded Pakistan markets over the past one year, and are in great demand for being cheaper than the branded phones, have suddenly been blocked allegedly by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), though the Authority denied having done so.
According to the Dawn, hundreds of Chinese mobile phones of one particular serial number or International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) 135790246811220 suddenly went dead in Pakistan last evening. Over the past two days, hundreds of users of the Chinese mobile sets had been fighting to get their phones activated after they mysteriously became non-functional, added the paper.
"A number of our fuming customers have been coming back to us arguing and fighting that the Chinese mobile phones we sold them have gone dead. We cannot unlock phones that have been blocked by PTA. It's against the law," the paper quoted All Pakistan Mobile Phone Franchise president Chaudhry Mohammad Waseem as saying.
After the Chinese cellphones were rendered non-functional, sale of these cellphones over the past two days had come to a complete stop, said Waseem, who is also the president of Mobile Phones Traders Welfare Association, Islamabad.
Accusing PTA of having blocked the phones, Mohammad Yousaf, another mobile shop owner, said blocking Chinese phones was unfair as many ordinary people could not afford buying expensive original ones.
But, according to a PTA spokesman, the Authority had not directed blocking of handsets imported from China. "In fact, PTA has nothing to do with the import of mobile handsets nor does it type approval of handsets," he said, and added the Authority only blocks the stolen/ snatched sets through IMEI number, when reported by a complainant.