India to start screening of imported telecoms gear in April

Staff writer
19 Dec 2016
Daily News

The Indian government is reportedly planning to start screening imported telecoms equipment used in mobile networks and handsets from April 1, 2017, following several implementation delays over the last three and a half years.

The government has assigned labs under a state-owned quality control agency, Standardisation Testing & Quality Certification (STQC), to undertake the screening of imported mobile network gears, feature phones and smartphones in the interest of national security, the Economic Timesreported.

Initially, local screening will be conducted in phases by identifying network gear deemed most vulnerable, the Economic Times cited a senior official at Department of Telecom (DoT) as saying.

The government's immediate objective is to also ensure that local screening does not create supply-chain bottlenecks or disrupt mobile network rollouts or expansions, according to another source familiar with the matter.

Accordingly, the DoT plans to invite companies from the private sector to set up more accredited labs to screen imported network gear, and develop a full-blown local testing ecosystem.

However, the government has received a lukewarm response from the private sector due to the lack of a viable funding mechanism.

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