Telecommunications Equipment Certification From Indian Labs Made Mandatory

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  • Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Association (Tema) has complemented the start of second phase of MTCTE regime
  • India, currently has 50 accredited labs and plans to increase this number to 100
  • The government of India had presented ‘Security Threat from Chinese Telecom Equipments’ report in 2012

The Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) has notified the list of telecom products that would be put under mandatory testing regime under phase – II of Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecommunications Equipment (MTCTE) regime. This regime has been mandated from First October 2020.

“TEMA has been demanding mandatory testing since 2010 and that the Government of India as far as back on 30.11.2012 recognized security threat from China Telecom Equipments and decided that from 1.4.2013 the certification shall be done by only recognized labs/agencies in India, vide PIB Press Note 30.11.2012. The above said mandatory testing has been postponed from time to time and last extension was up to 1.8.2019,” informed Prof NK Goyal, Chairman Emeritus, TEMA.

He added, “TEMA compliments Shri Anshu Prakash, Secretary supported by Ms Anita Praveen, Additional Secretary and Shri Hari Ranjan Rao, Joint Secretary Telecom for announcing the Phase II of Mandatory Testing for transmission terminal equipments.”

Telecom products mandated to be tested by Indian labs

The list of telecom products that have been mandated to be tested under the new law include transmission terminal gear, multiplexing equipment, Passive Optical Network (PON) broadband equipment and feedback devices.

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“It is hereby notified that testing and certification of telecommunications equipment under phase – II of Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecommunications Equipment (MTCTE) regime as provisioned in the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2017 shall be mandatory with effect from First October, 2020,” read the official statement by TEC.

Security threat from Chinese Telecom Equipment report

While the law has been mandated in 2020, the government of India had first published a press note on Security Threat from Chinese Telecom Equipments back in 2012.

“The Government is aware about the Report of Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of US Government titled “Investigative Report on US National security issues posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei & ZTE”. It is a known fact that in the modern age, telecom equipment and networks used for provisioning of telecom services are prone to spyware/malwares etc, emanating from the equipment itself or embedded software contained in it or from antisocial or anti national individuals or agencies. Such potential threats exist in the network, irrespective of the sources like telecom gear manufactured in China or supplied by some other vendors,” the report had read.

To address the security concerns related to telecom and telecom network, comprehensive guidelines in the form of license amendments were issued to telecom service providers during May 2011 in access service licenses and on third June’ 2011 for other licenses, in consultation with MHA and after due deliberations with Industry.

However, the dates for certification to be done only from authorised and certified agencies/labs in India was extended from time to time and last extension was up to First August 2019.

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