The department of telecommunications (DoT) has notified a comprehensive list of telecom products that require mandatory testing and certification before being sold in the country. From July 1 next year, products like smart watches, tracking devices, smart cameras, smart electricity meters, base tower stations (BTS) for telecom networks, etc, can be sold, imported or used in the country only if they have been certified and tested by any accredited lab.
All these products have been notified under the third phase of mandatory testing and certification of telecom equipment (MTCTE) regime, which came into force after the government amended the Indian Telegraph rules. In the fourth phase, products like optical fibre, point of sale (PoS) devices, routers, transmission equipment, satellite communications equipment, LAN switches, etc, would be included and the mandatory testing and certification for these products would begin from February 1 next year.
The mandatory testing and certification are necessary to check any security flaws, primarily of the imported equipment. Although the government had cleared the proposal for mandatory testing of telecom equipment in 2010, the implementation got delayed due to various reasons, including non-compliance with some of the WTO rules. However, this was surmounted with the amendment of the Telegraph Act in 2017.
The number of accredited labs has also been ramped up in the country to avoid any supply supply chain disruptions and equipment can be tested and implemented in the networks in a timely manner. Labs accredited by Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) are equipped to test and certify the products.
Welcoming the government’s move, Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Association (TEMA) said the step will promote Make in India, boost local talent, help in national security and data privacy. “We welcome and compliments Phase III, IV of mandatory testing, which was our pending demand since 2010 and renewed in 2017 after Telegraph Rules were amended to legalise mandatory testing,” NK Goyal, chairman emeritus, TEMA said.