GSM telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, through their industry body the COAI, has urged the Indian government to scrap the proposal for mandatory testing of telecom equipment which is used in India after certification from third party global bodies.
The body said that telecom products have already been meeting legal and regulatory requirements in over 180 markets, including India.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), in a letter to the telecom department’s nodal body, TEC, said that the proposed process would create potential supply chain disruptions, thereby increasing the cost of services and hurting consumers. The lobbying body pointed out that the government could continue the existing practice of assessing reports issued by internationally reputed testing bodies, instead of adding another layer of testing.
Recently, the Assocham also urged the telecom department to drop the proposal of mandatory testing of telecom equipment, adding such a proposal will introduce one more layer of regulation to the highly indebted telecom industry, which battling several challenges.
The COAI said that proposal would cripple the entire telecom sector ecosystem, which is already debt-ridden, overburdened with regulatory and policy interventions and multiple government/sectoral compliances.
It added that additional screening rules would also go against the government’s objective of improving ease of doing business.
In a letter, the body also added that the proposed move would restrict market access, ultimately leading to import delays and cripple the debt-ridden sector that is already going through a rough patch owing to financial pressure.
The COAI also argued the technical conditions under the unified licences issued by the government do not require compulsory local testing of equipment inducted into the networks.