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DoT defers mandatory security testing of telecom gears till Jan 1

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Telecom gear companies have been given three more months till January 1 to comply with the new norms mandating testing of equipment before selling it in the country, according to a government notification.
Some of the equipment like wi-fi access points, satellite equipment, telephone instruments, etc, can be sold only after testing and obtaining certificate from authorised agencies from January 1, 2019 onwards, according to the notification by the engineering wing under the Department of Telecom.
"The following telecom equipment imported or sold in India on or after January 1, 2019, shall be subject to testing and certification...," the notification said, adding some of these equipment are telephone instrument, modem, audio conferencing devices, fax machines, etc.
Earlier, all telecom equipment used by operators were required to undergo mandatory testing and get certified by authorised agencies as per specified norms from October 1.
According the new notification, for mobile base stations, routers, internet of things devices, the date has been extended to April 1, 2019.
"The following telecom equipment imported or sold in India on or after April 1, 2019, shall be subject to testing and certification...GPON equipment, DSL equipment...soft switch, mobile devices, BTS, repeater, compact cellular network, router, LAN switch...," the notification said.
The rule required any device or equipment that can work on legitimate telecom networks shall have to undergo prior mandatory testing and certification in respect of parameters that will be decided by the Department of Telecom from time to time.
"I believe, in six months many of the concerns which we had raised with regard to lack of infrastructure, limited test labs, yet-to-be ready TEC portal and the absence of a single-window certification process will be more or less ironed out," the Mobile Association President Bhawna Kumari said.
The notification is in addition to the previous notification on mandatory equipment testing issued on September 6 last year.
Telecom operators are barred from using untested and uncertified equipment.
The comprehensive order exempts equipment imported for the purpose of research and development, sample for the test and certification or demonstration in the country.
It also exempts equipment that personally accompanied on inward foreign travel to India for personal use in the country and are not prohibited under domestic laws.
If a telecom operator fails to adhere to the rules, the DoT may take punitive action under the licence norms and also seize the equipment.
"While we have been working alongside TEC for this purpose, we strongly feel that the testing infrastructure is extremely inadequate in our country. We should implement only self certification type of regulations with some intervention to audit the integrity of the process," India Cellular & Electronics Association, National President, Pankaj Mohindroo said.

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First Published: Sep 27 2018 | 9:25 PM IST

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