Despite being the second-largest smartphone market in the world—not to mention the fastest growing—India has very few checks and balances in place to control telecom equipment quality. This has resulted in everything from mobile phone batteries heating up or outright exploding. Radiation emissions being above prescribed limits. And the very real threat of data theft and spying. These dangers aren’t just limited to smartphones either. There are examples galore of other telecom equipment, like routers, for instance, being equally susceptible to safety and quality issues.
Missed deadlines and half-measures: India’s telecom equipment has a security problem
India’s data is at risk because of a lack of standards and testing for telecom equipment. The government says it wants to fix this, but is set to further postpone its deadline for the same
Most telecom equipment in India—barring what is procured by the government—is self-certified by manufacturers
This has led to a situation where poor quality telephone gear is being dumped in the Indian market
Worse, 97% of telecom equipment in the country is imported, giving rise to fears of unchecked data theft and spying
The govt wants to implement mandatory testing and certification in the near future, but may have to put its plans on hold