The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has notified a comprehensive list of telecommunications products that require mandatory testing and certification before being sold in the country. From July 1 of next year, products such as smart watches, tracking devices, smart cameras, smart electricity meters, base stations (BTS) for telecommunications networks, etc. may be sold, imported or used in the country only if they have been certified and tested by any accredited laboratory.
All of these products were notified under the third phase of the Mandatory Telecommunications Equipment Testing and Certification Scheme (MTCTE), which came into effect after the government changed India’s telegraph rules. In the fourth phase, products such as optical fiber, point of sale (PoS) devices, routers, transmission equipment, satellite communication equipment, LAN switches, etc., would be included and testing and mandatory certifications for these products would start from February 1. year.
Mandatory tests and certifications are necessary to check for possible security breaches, mainly of imported equipment. Although the government authorized the proposal for mandatory testing of telecommunications equipment in 2010, implementation has been delayed for various reasons, including non-compliance with certain WTO rules. However, this was overcome with the amendment of the Telegraph Act in 2017.
The number of accredited laboratories has also been increased in the country to avoid any disruption in the supply chain and the equipment can be tested and implemented in the networks in a timely manner. Laboratories accredited by the Telecommunication Engineering Center (TEC) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) are equipped to test and certify products.
Welcoming the government’s decision, the Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Association (TEMA) said the step would boost manufacturing in India, boost local talent, help national security and data privacy. âWe welcome and commend Phase III and IV of mandatory testing, which was our pending request since 2010 and renewed in 2017 after the telegraph rules were changed to legalize mandatory testing,â said NK Goyal, President Emeritus of TEMA.