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DoT extends the deadline of Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment for Phase III and Phase IV products

DoT extends the deadline of Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment for Phase III and Phase IV products
Trade & Regulatory Compliance Practice | Rishikaa

Introduction

The Department of Telecommunications (“DoT”), on 13th June, 2022, issued a notification extending the deadline for testing and certification of telecom equipment under Phase III and Phase IV of Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (“MTCTE”) as well as acceptance of reports issued by labs accredited to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (“ILAC”) by one year, i.e. till 1st July 2023. Earlier this year, the DoT had, vide an amendment notification, modified compliance requirements pertaining to Phase III and Phase IV of the MTCTE.

As previously explained in our blog pertaining to products exempted from mandatory testing requirements, MTCTE regime was introduced for mandatory testing and certification of telecom equipment prior to any sale or use of such equipment in India. The objective of the MTCTE is to ensure that any telecom equipment does not degrade the performance of existing network to which it is connected, safety of end users, that radio frequency emissions from equipment do not exceed prescribed standards, and compliance of telecom equipment with national and international regulatory standards.

Under the MTCTE, any telecom equipment manufacturer, importer, dealer who wishes to sell or import any notified telecom equipment in the country is required obtain a Telecommunication Engineering Centre (“TEC”) certification from a designated lab or a recognised Conformance Assessment Body.

Earlier, the deadline for mandatory testing for Phase III and IV products, such as compact cellular network, smart camera, smart watch, smart electricity meter, optical fibre, router, LAN switch, point of sale devices, was 1st July, 2022. However, the deadline was extended by one year in light of the discussions between DoT and industry stakeholders who suggested postponing the deadline citing the lack of equipped third-party testing labs in the country and the consequent delay in completing the process.

Our Take:

Earlier, there were speculations around successful roll-out of 5G network equipment owing to the short deadline for mandatory testing and the lack of third-party labs for testing 4G and 5G equipment. These setbacks could affect the import of 5G equipment and stall expansion plans of 4G network.

The extension of deadline comes as a major relief to telecom equipment makers and other stakeholders as it gives them a much-required breather to streamline import of 5G products and 4G expansion plans. The extension would also allow local labs to gain expertise in comprehensive testing of latest equipment thereby eliminating any procedural delays and expediting launch of technology products in the Indian market.

Links:
Link to Notification regarding extension of deadline of MTCTE Phase III and IV - https://tec.gov.in/pdf/MTCTE/Document%202.pdf

About MTCTE - https://www.mtcte.tec.gov.in/aboutMTCTE

Practice Contacts

Ameet Datta - Partner (Practice Lead) | ameet@saikrishnaassociates.com

Suvarna Mandal - Partner | suvarna@saikrishnaassociates.com

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