Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) under DoT is responsible for testing and certification of Telecom equipment in the country. It draw specifications for establishing state-of-the-art seamlessly interoperable networks, and certification thereof for conformance to quality requirements; Lay down technical parameters to ensure adherence to defined QoS and SLA; Implement mandatory certification procedure for all telecom products for conformance to technical, interoperability, EMI/EMC, security, safety, health requirements; Carry out testing and certification of equipment and networks; Draw guidelines for disaster resilient network, and for disaster management and recovery; Provide technical support and inputs to DoT and other government departments; Provide technical support to telecom service providers for operation and development of telecom network.
DoT has amended Indian Telegraph Rules to bring mandatory testing and certification of all telecom products. The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2017, provides that every telecom equipment must undergo mandatory testing and certification prior to sale, import of use in India. This has been done through Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2017, issued vide Notification G.S.R. 1131(E) dated 5th September, 2017. With this, all the Telecom Products has to be mandatorily tested for conformity with effect from 1st October 2018. The alignment of test labs and technical specifications as per the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2017 is underway. The testing is to be carried out for conformance to Essential Requirements for the equipment, by Indian Accredited Labs designated by TEC and based upon their test reports, certificate shall be issued by TEC. MTCTE Procedure (version 2.1/ Release May 2021) supersedes procedure no. TEC/MP/DD/TCP-711/02 October 2018.
The Mandatory Testing & Certification of Telecom Equipment framework is more comprehensive and aims to put in place a mechanism to ensure compliance of telecom equipment to requirements related to Safety, Electromagnetic Interference & Compatibility (EMI/EMC), Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), Spurious Emissions that may cause interference etc. based on International best practices like the CE certification of EU, FCC certification of USA, ACMA certification of Australia, IMDA certification of Singapore etc. Thus, it is far more comprehensive vi-a-vis Compulsory Registration Order (CRO) scheme of MeiTY. Which covers compliance to Safety standards. The Certification process endeavors to encourage:
- Safety of the end–users;
- Ensuring that radio frequency emissions from equipment do not exceed prescribed standards;
- That telecom equipment complies with the relevant national and international regulatory standards and requirements;
- Telecom equipment does not degrade performance of existing network when connected;
The Technical Regulations for which conformance is envisaged under the Mandatory Testing & Certification of Telecom Equipment framework are in the form of Essential Requirements. The Essential Requirements (ER) to be complied for the purpose of certification includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
- Technical requirements
- Other requirements like SAR, ROHS, IPv6: As notified by Government Agencies from time to time
- Security Requirements
Details on the stated purpose are as follows.
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) – EMC is defined as the ability of devices and systems to operate in their electromagnetic environment without impairing their functions and without faults and vice versa. Electromagnetic compatibility, EMC ensures that operation does not influence the electromagnetic environment to the extent that the functions of other devices and systems are adversely affected. There are two main elements to EMC:
- Emissions: The EMI emissions refer to the generation of unwanted electromagnetic energy. These need to be reduced below certain acceptable limits to ensure they do not cause any disruption to other equipment.
- Susceptibility & immunity: The susceptibility of an item of electronics to EMI is the way it reacts to unwanted electromagnetic energy. The aim of the design of the circuit is to ensure a sufficiently high level of immunity to these unwanted signals.
- The MT&CTE framework ensures Electromagnetic Compatibility compliance for Telecommunication Equipment based on a combination of IEC standards. It covers both Emission and Immunity specifications related to EMC.
Safety – With the presence of a wide array of telecom equipment, the Safety Requirements envisaged under the MT&CTE framework are also categorized based on the type of telecom equipment or instrument. The Safety Requirements are as per the following IEC standards. A combination of these safety standards maybe applicable for a single equipment.
SAR – Specific Absorption Rate is the measure of electromagnetic energy absorbed by the human body in close proximity of Radio Frequency (RF) sources. The SAR measurement is an important aspect related to health and safety of general public, and is applicable on mobile phones as well as other body worn radio devices or radio devices used in close proximity of the body. The MT&CTE framework prescribes the measurement of SAR from mobile phones based on IEC standards like 62209-1 and its conformance to the prescribed Indian limit of 1.6 W/kg taken over 1gm of tissue.
Spurious Emissions – Spurious Emissions are unwanted emissions which are not in the intended band of operation from a radio transmitting equipment like mobile phones, base stations, Wi-Fi equipment etc. and which may cause interference to other transmitting equipment nearby. Various standards from ETSI etc. exist which are part of TEC specifications as well to ensure compliance to Spurious Emissions within prescribed limits. The MT&CTE framework prescribes to enforce these limits on the different radio transmitting equipment.