Jio, Airtel, Vi Issue Alerts For All Indians: 5G Smartphones Shortage Can Hit You
Indian telecom majors including Airtel, Jio, and Vi (Idea Vodafone) have suggested that there might be a sharp decline in the availability of the latest 5G smartphones.
Why Would This Happen?
This could happen as the Indian government has asked for a mandatory local testing and certification of devices from January 1st, 2023 before the commencement of the sale in the country.
Besides this, the telecom operators have also warned the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that this move would also hit data consumption and restrict market access.
On top of that the consumers would also be deprived of buying the latest 5G phones.
Hindrance In Growth
Government’s this decision comes when mobile carriers are all ready to invest crores of rupees in the upcoming 5G spectrum actions.
Which is most likely to be conducted around May-June, and the rollout of the 5G network is planned in FY23.
Apart from this, the telecom operators have also cautioned that this move to test and certify all 5G smartphones at local labs could affect the country’s ambitions of becoming a global manufacturing base.
Burden Of Compliance
Prior to this, DoT’s technical wing, the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) at a recent internal meeting has decided to bring 5G mobile phones under phase-5 of the ‘Mandatory Testing & Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE)’ control that is set to kick in from next January.
In response, countries major Telecom networks and OEMs have urged DoT to stop TEC from implementing the planned local testing of 5G smartphones and other smart consumer electronic products.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said, “We urge your intervention to instruct TEC to rescind the existing notifications covering all existing consumer electronic products under the MTCTE Certification regime and to desist in pursuing smartwatches, wearables, and smart cameras under Phase III and 5G mobile phones under the proposed Phase V of MTCTE,” in a letter to telecom secretary K. Rajaraman dated March 11th.
Here COAI represents top telcos such as Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi), and global tech companies like Apple, Google, and other OEMs such as Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and others.
According to the industry executives , the MTCTE procedure is time-consuming and would put the burden of compliance costs of products for OEMs and restrict market access and delay the launch of new devices.
The testing and certification of telecom products should be a part of the manufacturing ecosystem to ensure India becomes a global manufacturing hub, said Telecom secretary Rajaraman.
At the same time, COAI has argued that de-linking the consumer electric industry from the TEC-MTCTE certification regime would ensure the industry’s path for investment through the PLI (product-linked incentive) scheme.