The department of telecommunications (DoT) has once again pushed back the deadline to begin domestic testing and certification of telecom equipment.
Amid industry concerns on the lack of adequate testing infrastructure in the country, the department of telecommunications (DoT) has once again deferred the deadline for testing telecom equipment. However, the new date has not been notified yet.
In a recent report, Mint stated that DoT has been considering the proposal to strengthen security and preparedness against cyberattacks and spying for four years.
The department wanted telecom equipment imported or sold in India to undergo mandatory testing and get certified by local authorized agencies from 1 October 2018.
However, on September 27, this deadline was extended by three-to-six months for testing some 50 types of equipment. The government also said modems, audio-conferencing equipment, fax machines, Wi-Fi access points, and radio and transmission products, including microwaves, imported or sold in India after 1 January will be subjected to testing locally.
Parts such as mobile devices, soft switch, base transceiver station and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices would need to be tested and certified from April 1. Now, the January 1 deadline has been deferred again.
Lack of domestic testing
The TEC (Telecommunication Engineering Centre) itself is not prepared to carry out testing. The CDOT (Centre for Development of Telematics) is supposed to develop a portal which will serve as an interface with the industry, but the portal is not ready yet.
There is a lot of equipment but very few labs to carry this out. Manpower is also a big constraint, a person aware of the development informed Mint.
While TEC, the authorised public sector unit, has eight labs in the country, it has so far certified only 31 private labs across Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Chennai, among other cities to carry out testing and certification—15 out of them in the last six months itself.
The government is hopeful that the supply of labs will improve once the industry realises that the government is serious about domestic testing. In fact, in the last three months, the TEC has certified five labs.
To address industry concerns, DoT has now invited Indian and foreign original equipment makers, importers and dealers, test-lab representatives and industry associations for a consultation meeting on January 16.