Smartphone makers 'protest new India testing rules’

Global smartphone companies like Nokia and Apple are warning of a drop in the availability of 5G smartphones in India following proposed new testing and certification regulations.

The tech companies joined Indian telecommunications in expressing their concern following reports the Indian government is planning to implement a new law requiring that all new smartphones need to undergo mandatory testing and certification at accredited local labs in India before they are sold in the country.

The country has already introduced a similar law for 5G smartwatches, wearables, and smart cameras.

According to a report in the India Times, India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT)’s technical wing, the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), recently decided to bring 5G smartphones under phase-5 of the Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE) regime that is set to come in to effect from next January.

However, telecom operators have called on the government not to go through with the new rules, saying that they would also hinder India’s ambitions to become a leading smartphone manufacturing base.

In a letter to India’s DoT, the Cellular Operators Association of India – an umbrella organisation that represents Indian telecom companies as well as global tech companies such as Apple, Google, Huawei and Nokia – 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.”