DoT urged not to make telecom equipment testing a must

Ascom Network testing
Assocham has urged the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to drop the proposal for mandatory testing of telecom equipment which are used in India after certification from well-known third party global bodies.

The industry organisation, in a letter to the Secretary of Telecommunication and Telecom Commission Chairperson Aruna Sundarajan, said the move to get the draft guidelines by the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) for mandatory testing of the equipment would add one more layer of regulation and go against the spirit of “ease of doing business”.

According to Assocham, the telecom industry is already heavily debt ridden and any more regulatory compliance burden would create serious issues in the global supply chain cycle.

Leading test and measurement companies in India are Anritsu, Keysight, Ixia, Rohde & Schwarz, among others.

The industry association said declining revenues, mounting debt and hyper-competitive market place have posed tremendous pressure on network investments, expansions.

“Products (end-to-end equipment) are developed keeping in view the relevant legal and regulatory requirements in global markets, including India, and equipment makers proactively ensure stringent technical and environmental standards,” said the letter signed by Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat.

The telecom products that are envisaged in mandatory testing by TEC are developed based on various international standards and do undergo rigorous testing and certification regime at international labs for environment, health, safety.

Rawat added that most of the critical telecom infrastructure supplied to operators and other intermediaries in the entire voice and data chain were being manufactured in India itself, in the spirit of the “Make in India” program.

“Instead of adding one more layer of testing, when in doubt, TEC may recognise and review from time to time the test reports and certificates issued by conformity assessment bodies that are internationally reputed to assess whether products conform to the standards and safety requirements, as happening now,” the letter said.

The industry body cautioned that this mandatory testing would not only be counter-productive to the industry, which was already heavily debt ridden, it would also create serious issues in the global supply chain cycle.

Declining revenues, mounting debt, competitive market place have posed tremendous pressure on network investments, expansions. The financial pressure is leading to further debt and the industry is already going through a rough patch leading to consolidations at both operators as well as the global OEMs.