In a recent development, the department of telecommunications (DoT) has revealed a list of telecom products that should undergo mandatory testing and certification before sale in India. Effective from July 1, 2022, electronics products such as smartwatches, smart cameras, tracking devices, base tower stations for telecom networks and electricity metres among others can be sold, used or imported only if they have been tested and certified by an accredited lab. The third phase of mandatory testing and certification of telecom equipment (MTCTE) regime has notified these products, notes Financial Express.
Notably, the regime came into effect after the government set the Indian Telegraph Rules. In the fourth phase, products such as optical point of sale (PoS), optical fibre, transmission equipment, routers, LAN switches, satellite communications equipment, and more will be included in the list. Apparently, these will also need mandatory testing and certification from February 1, 2022.
Mandatory Certification Of Equipment
Mandatory testing, as well as certification of equipment, are important to check for security flaws, especially when it comes to imported equipment. Though there is already a proposal for mandatory testing of telecom equipment since 2010, there has been a delay in its implementation due to several reasons such as non-compliance with some WTO rules. However, it was surmounted with the Telegraph Act that was amended in 2017.
In addition to the new amendment of mandatory testing and certification, there has been an increase in the number of accredited labs in the country to avoid disruptions in the supply chain. Also, this will ensure that telecom equipment can be tested and implemented in the networks on a timely basis. The Telecommunications Engineering Centre (TEC) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) are capable of testing and certifying these equipment.
As the Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Association (TEMA) welcomes this move taken by the government, it noted that the step will promote the Make in India initiative. Also, it will boost local talent and help in bringing about data privacy and national security. NK Goyal, chairman emeritus, TEMA said that they welcome and complement the Phase III and IV of mandatory testing and certification of equipment that was pending demand since 2010.