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COAI opposes mandatory testing of telecom products as it may act as a technical barrier to trade

Cellular operators body COAI has opposed a proposal for mandatory testing of telecom products, saying the move will “cripple” the debt-ridden sector and increase cost of telecom services hurting end-consumers. In a letter to the Telecommunication Engineering Centre, which is proposing compulsory testing and certification of telecom gears, the COAI said the proposal should be  abolished” as it may act as a “technical barrier to trade”. “…the mandatory testing of telecom products proposal should be abolished, as this mandatory local screening will create potential supply chain disruptions, increasing the cost…

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DoT to make tracking lost phones easier by formulating harsher rules for tampering of IMEI codes

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is working on rules to make tampering of IMEI number — a unique 15-digit serial number of mobile devices — a punishable offence with up to three years of imprisonment. The move will help curb issues pertaining to fake IMEI numbers and also ease tracking of lost mobile phones. “It is difficult to track mobile phones because of duplicate IMEI numbers. The DoT is working on rules to make tampering of IMEI numbers a punishable offence under Indian Telegraph Act,” a government official said. The…

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Inter-ministerial group to submit policy recommendations in July to solve telecom sector debt crisis

The inter-ministerial group (IMG) looking into financial difficulties of the telecom sector is expected to submit its policy prescription to the Telecom Commission next month. “The (IMG) recommendations will be submitted within a month,” an official told PTI. The IMG was set up on May 16 to examine issues that are affecting viability and repayment capacity of telecom companies. The group has to furnish recommendations for resolution of stressed assets, policy reforms and strategic interventions for the telecom sector in three months. “Now, no external meetings are required by the…

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Ministers brainstorm measures to tackle telecom sector debt white govt discusses policy with TRAI

In a day of meetings, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha discussed policy issues with TRAI Chairman R S Sharma, even as the inter-ministerial group began brainstorming separately to look for remedies at the whopping Rs 4.6 lakh crore debt that is ailing telcos. Sinha and Sharma held discussions in the presence of new Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan and Telecom Commission Member (Finance), and Universal Services Obligation Fund Administrator. According to sources, the high-level meeting was held to discuss regulatory and policy issues in the sector and expedite the Bharat Net project….

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Inter Ministerial Group and telecom companies to discuss the stressed health of telecom sector

The much-awaited meeting between the government and the telecom companies to evolve a resolution to the stressed health of the sector was held here on 22 June. Representatives of telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio and Reliance Communications met Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan besides other government officials in the ministry. Among the industrialists, Anil Ambani of Reliance Communications, Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel and Mahendra Nahata of Reliance Jio were present in the meeting. They were not immediately available for comment. Initially, the company…

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