DoT To Deploy Another Test Lab For The Telecom Segment, Is It Necessary?

The Government has felt the need to have a lot more labs to attest the quality and other security parameters in the Telecom Segment and accordingly, the apex body for this segment; Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has initiated the process to set one up.

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What does the Government want to check?
One of the largest sub-segments of the Telecom Industry in India is the Telecom Equipment Procurement. Judging by the current spending trends, the annual telecom equipment market in India is estimated to be worth US$ 4 Billion. The Indian Government wants to ensure that all the equipment procured should secure a special ‘Security Certification’.

DoT has proposed setting up a Center for Communication Security Research (CCSR) to automate interception and monitoring as well as set up telecom-equipment testing and security certification centers, said a note released by the body,

The security of testing telecom equipment is a new area for which standards need to be finalized. The systems and processes are to be developed and finalized with all stakeholders, like service providers, equipment manufacturers and prospective test labs.

Essentially DoT wants to affix parameters governing the purchases of Telecom Communications Equipment that will be deployed within the Indian Territory. Interestingly, India already has a Telecom Testing Security Certification Center (TTSC), but DoT feels, given the speed of augmentation of networks being undertaken by the telecom companies operational in India, the facility might not be able to handle the load. To ensure all the testing is completed in a time bound and systematic manner, DoT wants to rope in private and public sector labs.

These facilities will be accredited by TTSC and they will gain the authority to test and certify the equipment. Ironically, though the Government has already approved spending of Rs. 450 Crores towards these projects, the individual labs will be charged for securing ‘Accreditation Fees’.

As 100% Foreign Direct Investment is permitted in telecom service and manufacturing, even foreign companies will be allowed to participate in this exercise. With similar initiatives already being deployed, do you think, such an additional endeavor is justified?

 

Image Source | ET

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