The Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), a nodal agency of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has extended the deadline for starting mandatory testing of telecom equipment including mobile devices and base transceiver stations (BTS) to April 1, 2019 from October 1, 2018.
In a notification issued on Thursday, the DoT said mobile devices, BTS, repeaters, GPON equipment, compact cellular network, LAN switch, routers, IoT device and media gateway imported or sold in India from April 1, 2019 would be subject to testing and certification.
The engineering division, however, indicated that other equipment such as modem, audio conferencing equipment, fax machine, VHF equipment, Wi-Fi access point and multiplexing equipment would undergo testing from January 1, 2019.
The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2017 mandate essential testing of devices and equipment in order to ensure public safety.
TEC has been tasked to undertake Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE) for the sector to preview nearly 50 products in a phased manner.
“We have given a lot of relaxation and are flexible, and will continue to include products in a phased manner,” Shakeel Ahmad, deputy director general at TEC had earlier told ET.
The government plans to increase the number of TEC-designated laboratories in the country fourfold to 100, from 25 at present, to facilitate implementation of essential testing norms.
“We are glad that the government heeded our concerns regarding difficulties that the mobile phone brands would have faced otherwise,” said Bhawna Kumari, president of The Mobile Association.
She said that in the next six months many of the issues including lack of infrastructure, availability of limited test labs and single-window certification would be ironed out.
TMA represents mobile handset makers such as Samsung, Micromax, Oppo, Karbonn and Honor.
Delhi-based Cellular Operators Association of India had earlier also asked the government to postpone the deadline to at least October 1, 2019, over concerns of network deployment delays due to the deficiency of designated laboratories.
The association represents incumbent operators – Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm – and telecom gear vendors such as Apple, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia.