The Telecom Department (DoT) has notified mandatory testing and certification for additional range of products, used in telecom and data networks, from October 1, 2020. Transmission Terminal Equipment (including multiplexing equipment), PON (passive optical network) family of broadband equipment, and feedback device are the products which have been notified under the second phase of Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE) regime. Applications for testing and certification of these telecom products will be accepted on MTCTE portal from June 25, 2020.
The Department of Telecom is working on rolling out a Rs 15,000-crore (€1.8 billion) worth production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to promote the domestic production of telecom equipment. The DoT is preparing the draft cabinet note to provide financial incentives to companies that produce 5G telecom equipment. The scheme's primary aim would be to boost the domestic production of telecom equipment and reduce the dependence of Chinese suppliers. State-run Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI), Sterlite Technology, Tejas Network, and Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd. (HFCL) are some of the domestic players involved in the manufacturing of telecom equipment.
DoT is expected to provide the spectrum needed by telecom service providers for testing their 5G networks. 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for cellular networks, superior to the 4G networks which currently provide connectivity to most cellphones. The testing was originally scheduled for March but got delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Telecom operators will need 6 months of testing 5G devices and spectrum before we begin auctions”. “We are looking at providing the companies with spectrum for the testing by September so that they can begin the process,” the official said.
India has notified the World Trade Organization its intention to make it mandatory for telecom products sold, imported or used in the country, including feedback device, transmission terminal equipment and broadband equipment, to be tested and certified by the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
In three separate submissions made to the WTO Committee on Technical Barrier to Trade on the three identified items, India sought comments from WTO members on the mandatory certification regime within 30 days.