All telecom equipment used by operators will have to undergo mandatory testing and get certified by authorised agencies in accordance with specified norms from October 1, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundarajan has said. She said this when asked whether the Indian government was contemplating a cautious approach with regard to procurement of equipment from Chinese companies, as has been done by countries like US and Australia. “From October 1, every piece of equipment used by operators that comes into India must be mandatorily tested under the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2017,” she told PTI in an interview.
Sundararajan had on September 14 told PTI that the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) may go with Huawei, a Chinese telecom company, after examining their proposal. Replying to a query, Sundararajan said the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, which was notified by the Indiangovernment last September, mandates equipment-makers to gettheir products tested and certified from the agency or bodyauthorised by DoT before selling or importing them into India.
The Rules mandates DoT to take punitive action under thelicence norms and also seize the equipment, if a telecom operator fails to adhere to them, she added. Also, it bars telecom operators from using untested and uncertified equipment. The industry, however, is saying that the move for mandatory local testing would delay network deployments and expansion.
In a letter dated May 29 to Sundararajan, the CellularOperators Association of India (COAI) had asked DoT topostpone the deadline to at least October 1, 2019. It also claims that the mandatory testing would cripplethe telecom ecosystem. COAI represents Indian service providers and network vendors such as Huawei, Ericsson and ZTE.