Telecom equipment testing to hurt network and smartphone growth

India Government’s plans to start testing of imported telecom equipments from October 1 will impact network expansion of mobile operators and smartphone growth.

Imported telecom equipments such as mobile phones, SIM cards, 3G & 4G base stations, customer database servers, other core network devices will undergo testing for bugs and malicious software.

Telecom equipment vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, ZTE, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, Cisco, Samsung and Ericsson will be under pressure to meet their network targets.

The move will also hurt the rapidly growing smartphone market in India. According to Canalys Analyst, smart phone shipments in India increased 129 percent to 9 million in the second quarter of 2013. India is now the world’s third largest smart phone market. (Samsung, Micromax, Karbonn, Sony, Nokia in top smartphone market share in Q2 )

Several operators are planning to expand their 2G, 3G and 4G networks in India. India’s rural population is also waiting for the mobile revolution. ( Rural telecom operators market share in Q1, Vodafone tops )

The department of telecommunications (DoT) in association with Wipro, has identified 25 telecom products that will be screened at an authorized test lab in India.

The government has classified 12 of these items as high-risk items, which need to be security checked from October 1, Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

Telecom industry feels that many handset makers will not be able to bring their new smartphones to India as per their schedule. There’ll be delay in launches as India is yet to test testing process. Wipro may not be able to start the process on October 1.

Telecom equipment testing to hurt network and smartphone growth

Indian telecom operators will not be able to test their imported equipments as per their schedule as there are no preset guidelines to follow. “Currently, we are not equipped to test telecom equipments in India,” said a senior executive with a telecom operator.

Two years ago, due to security issues India tried to limit imports of telecom equipments from Chinese companies. This had also impacted growth in telecom equipment and telecom penetration.

Meanwhile, Hindu reported that two years after the Department of Telecom (DoT) decided to set up a telecom equipment testing lab at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, to address security issues, foreign vendors have now refused to share their design details with the premier academic institute as it could hurt their business interests.

This will further delay the setting up of a full-fledged Telecom Testing and Security Certification Centre (TTSCC), which should have become fully operational by April 2013. It will also hurt India’s preparedness towards creating the ‘Telecom Security Directorate’ as mandated by the National Security Council.

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