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Opinion divided on TEC’s mandatory testing notification

The Telecommunications Engineering Centre (TEC) has issued a notification for an additional range of products, used in telecom and data networks on June 23, 2020 on mandatory testing and certification of telecom equipment (MTCTE).

It has notified that testing and certification under phase-II of MTCTE will be mandatory from October 1, 2020 for:

i) Transmission Terminal Equipment (SDH Equipment, Multiplexing Equipment).

ii) PON family of broadband Equipment (PON, ONU and PON OLT).

iii) Feedback Device.

Applications for testing and certification of these telecom products will be accepted on MTCTE portal from June 25, 2020.

In another circular dated June 24, the DoT’s engineering wing also provided for certain relaxation for test results and reports on some norms other than safety requirements and EMI/EMC (electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility) requirements.

Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI

“We are pleased that DoT has increasingly qualified labs to conduct the testing and is doing so in a phased manner. This ensures there are no disruptions to the supply chain and equipment can be tested and implemented in the networks in a timely manner.

COAI is glad to work with the DoT and supports the equipment performance testing procedures put in place by the DoT in coordination with the industry.

On the other circular, Mathews said that it relates to all other equipment that are presently imported/approved based on certification by international labs. “The second circular clarifies that such certification by international labs will continue to be valid to the new date indicated,” Mathews said.

Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Association (TEMA) in a statement noted that the three categories of the freshly-notified products would need to be tested within India by Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) recognised lab. The applications would be received from June 25, 2020. It is also to be complimented that the EMC and safety tests would need to be conducted within country by approved labs, though for others, ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) approved tests would be accepted till September 30, 2020.

There are about 50 labs in India approved by TEC. TEMA has been demanding mandatory testing since 2010 and that the Government of India as far as back on November 30, 2012 recognised security threat from China telecom equipment and decided that from April 1, 2013 the certification shall be done by only recognized labs/agencies in India.

The association said it looks forward for implementation of next phase of mandatory testing, especially for radio and mobile equipment/products.

Vendors. Global telecom vendors, Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE however are expected to oppose this move. Their stand is that this only duplicates effort. Why get certification of equipment already certified by accredited labs in their home countries, delay installations and add to cost.

-CT Bureau

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