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Indian companies in the telecommunications sector demand a faster approval process from the WPC authority

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Mobile phone providers as well as manufacturers of infrastructure and end-user devices are demanding intervention by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to speed up the process of equipment type approval (ETA). An improved process should simplify imports, distribution and the introduction of new models. There are currently no immediate shortages of equipment, but given the amount of equipment that will be needed over the next nine to 12 months to upgrade and repair networks and infrastructure, there could be supply difficulties as the equipment has not yet been approved by the Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) authority, a telecommunications industry spokesperson said.

telecommunications
The unclear release process by the WPC will affect imports to India and could lead to companies having to pay penalties to customs. Two lobby groups have called for mediation and conciliation from WPC leaders as no applications have been processed for a month, although the whole process is taking place online. “With the current situation through Covid-19, working from home and digitalisation is becoming increasingly important. Stopping the processing of applications to import equipment is a counterproductive measure in this regard,” the lobbying association said in its letter. The lobby association represents mobile phone providers such as Reliance, Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, as well as manufacturers Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, Cisco and ZTE.

The WPC’s release and regulation department issued a statement saying that they work according to the guidelines of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and that an application is usually processed online and digitally released within a week. The online system for the certification and release process for imports of telecommunications equipment was introduced in September 2018 to make the process easier and faster for all parties involved. The WPC (Wireless Planning & Coordination) is the Indian National Broadcasting Authority and is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. However, in most cases, only equipment type approval (ETA) is relevant for foreign producers. The WPC certification process is relatively simple compared to other certification types. We will be happy to assist you with WPC registration and are also available to answer any questions you may have.

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Julian Busch

About the author: Julian Busch is the founder and managing director of MPR International GmbH

Publisher: MPR International GmbH

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