On their PTA-blocked devices, Pakistani consumers have been mysteriously restoring cellular connectivity. The happy users posted instructions on how to activate their SIM cards on their restricted phones on social media.
For the uninitiated, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) continues to block imported phones with unpaid taxes, preventing them from using any cellular networks in Pakistan. However, they can still connect over WiFi. Over the previous few weeks, some individuals with non-approved phones had their phones arbitrarily unlocked, allowing them to reconnect to cellular networks once more.
This abrupt move sparked reports that the new administration had done away with the significant tariff on pricey cellphones and had instructed PTA to unlock all non-approved devices.
But as PTA itself has acknowledged, this rumour is completely untrue.
In order to encourage people to pay taxes and have their phones legally unblocked, the telecommunications regulator has stated that it has unblocked an undefined number of non-approved phones.
According to PTA spokeswoman Khurram Ali Mehran, this was merely a sales tactic to persuade people to register their phones and pay taxes, no matter how high they are. According to him, PTA decided to unblock the phones at random and will block them again again in 60 days.