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COAI welcomes WPC’s decision to simplify approval processes for wireless equipment, operating in license exempt bands

COAI, the apex industry association representing leading Telecom, Internet, Technology and Digital Services companies, welcomed the specific notifications issued by the Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) wing of Department of Telecommunications. The notifications are targeted toward simplifying import and related approval processes required for wireless equipment, operating in the license exempted bands.

As per one of the notifications, the WPC has exempted the requirement for obtaining Equipment Type Approval for tests, prototype, samples, pre-launch units of wireless equipment operating in the license exempted band in India. This category includes mobile phones, laptops, electronic notepads, smart watches, short range devices and accessories, microphones, speakers, headphones, earphones, printers, scanners, cameras, testing and measurement equipment, etc.

A simple self-declaration from importer or any authorised Indian representative will suffice as evidence to process such clearances by the Customs and Central Excise Authorities, permitting one thousand number of units per model. Import license requirements are as per standards set by the Export and Import (EXIM) Policy of DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade).

The other notification states that Equipment Type Approval (ETA) can be availed of, simply through a self-declaration. This would be permitted for all commercial and finished products such as mobile phones or computing devices operating in license exempt bands, as allowed in India.

Expressing his support and thankfulness to the WPC and DoT for these timely notifications, Rajan Mathews, Director General of COAI said, “These notifications are noteworthy and a major step towards strengthening Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in the country. This decision of DoT and WPC will definitely facilitate a timely and hassle free import process of sample devices for various testing and R&D purposes. This will also help equipment manufacturers in timely launching of their new products in India, thereby making the Indian market more attractive to launch new devices which will be in synch with the Digital India vision of the Government. COAI now hopes that such reforms would continue and issues surrounding import of equipment would be resolved with scrapping of import license currently required for import of telecom equipment by licensed operators.”

COAI represents all the major Indian telcos and telecom equipment, services and device manufactures, such as Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, Apple, IBM, Sterlite, Ciena, ATC among others.