Trai to boost manufacturing of telecom and broadcasting products

Trai discussion paper pertaining to the issue is currently in the works.

New Delhi: Regulator Trai may look into the issue of testing and quality of mobile phones and set-top boxes as part of a wider consultation to boost manufacturing of telecom and broadcasting products in the country.

The issue assumes significance as telecom operators had blamed mobile handset quality for call drops and approached the government saying the role of devices in issue of service quality has not been considered adequately.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) discussion paper pertaining to incentivising manufacturers of telecom and broadcasting equipment is currently in the works, two persons familiar with the matter told PTI.

It is likely to be released over the next one month. The paper may explore, amongst other aspects, possible sweetners for operators who use indigenous products in their networks. "The operators had raised the issue that the poor quality of some handsets affects the quality of service and network performance.

There is likely to be a larger consultation paper on manufacturing that will include this issue," one of the persons cited above said. In March this year, telecom operators - under Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) - demanded that the government chalk out a mechanism to control the quality of mobile handsets in India.

Drawing the government's attention to the absence of regulations governing the handset quality, the COAI had rued that there was no visibility or control over the large number of "rogue devices affecting the network quality".

This was, however, contested by the Indian Cellular Association, an industry body that includes handset makers. The ICA had countered COAI's claims saying phones sold in India "diligently" followed the prescribed norms.

The ICA has maintained that inadequate infrastructure, and not device quality, was responsible for the call drop and network throughputs. Trai is looking into the issue, a source said, adding that one of the aspects was "testing of prototype models".

"If the network performance is affected then it will certainly be looked into...the paper will look at aspects like should there be testing benchmarks or quality of service in case of consumer equipments in the telecom and broadcasting sector," the person said.

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