5G Rollout in India Could Slow Down Due to Govt’s New Mandate

One of the top executives in the telecom industry told the publication that the local labs are yet to gain expertise when it comes to equipment testing. These labs don’t have the expertise in checking and approving things such as router and other major telecom gears such as base stations, microwave systems, and other radio equipment.

Highlights

  • The telecom operators now have a fresh worry in front of them.
  • While the intention behind the order from DoT is noble and in line with the security interests of India, it also stands to slow down the rollout of 5G.
  • One of the top executives in the telecom industry told the publication that the local labs are yet to gain expertise when it comes to equipment testing.

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The telecom operators now have a fresh worry in front of them. Their 5G rollout plans could slow down significantly if the government’s new mandate comes into effect from July 1, 2022. For the unaware, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) wants all the telecom gear imported to India from July 1, 2022, to be tested under the Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE) regime.

While the intention behind the order from DoT is noble and in line with the security interests of India, it also stands to slow down the rollout of 5G. The telecom operators will have to wait longer times for procuring network gear which will create supply issues. According to an ET Telecom report, the industry executives want the DoT to extend the July 1, 2022 deadline to January 1, 2023.

Local Labs Don’t Have the Expertise Yet

One of the top executives in the telecom industry told the publication that the local labs are yet to gain expertise when it comes to equipment testing. These labs don’t have the expertise in checking and approving things such as routers and other major telecom gears such as base stations, microwave systems, and other radio equipment.

There is a shortage of skilled manpower to do these tests as well. Unfortunately, India’s local telecom gear market is not developed enough to fulfil the demands of the telecom operators when it comes to equipment for 5G networks. Thus, the telcos have to rely on their foreign technology partners for sourcing gear, and they will have no other option but to wait longer to procure their purchases as the labs will first approve them as safe or unsafe for the country.

Further, the industry doesn’t want the government to also include 2G equipment under its new mandate. While in other countries, 2G networks are being phased out; it is not the case in India which still has over 280 million users.

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