Telecom Commission caps network testing period at 180 days

New Delhi: Telecom Commission on Friday approved norms on network testing before the commercial launch of services and capped its duration to a maximum of 180 days.

The decisions were based on the recommendations made by the Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) in December last year.

Initially, the limit for network testing would be for 90 days and the operators would have to seek permission for an extension, said the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Aruna Sundararajan.

Although TRAI and the commission noted that duration of network testing for purpose of telecom operators’ employees can go on for unlimited period, “if it is done outside with real life customers then it must be limited to 5 per cent of an LSA (licensed access spectrum), and it should be limited to 90 days of testing,” Sundarajan told reporters after the meeting.

“It was decided that although TRAI had left extensions beyond 90 days to the DoT, the TC (Telecom Commission) felt that there should be an absolute finality to it. So it should be only 180 days.”

The secretary, who also heads the commission said: “…extensions cannot be given in an arbitrary manner… DoT will have to formulate clear guidelines for extension beyond 90 days.”

It also decided that the telecom regulator should give recommendations describing the framework for testing of fixed line broadband.

Among other decisions the Telecom Commission decided to constitute an apex body for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology which would have representations from other regulatory bodies like the National Highway Authority of India and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.

It also decided to setup a “National Trust Centre which will be there for certifying M2M devices and applications,” the secretary said.