Consequent to the liberalization of the Telecom Sector and subsequent dawn of the NGN era, TEC had to transform itself into an independent technical organization to draw up standards and specifications for seamless inter-working of a multi-operator convergent network supporting multimedia services. Thus TEC was required to redefine its role to benefit the entire telecom industry rather than limiting it to a single incumbent as was traditionally the case before liberalization. Convergence of technologies in the Telecom, IT, Broadcasting, and Entertainment sectors, resulted into horizontal and vertical integration of market segments, and this further prompted the need for change. It is now imperative to ensure seamless working in a converged network capable of carrying multimedia communications and applications. The need to specify Network-Network Interfaces (NNI) and User-Network Interfaces (UNI) in such a network by an independent standards organization is of paramount importance.
TEC was thus driven to adopt a vision consistent with the new demands of a competitive telecom environment wherein it would leverage its capability as a “Centre of Excellence” in telecom to position India as a lead Telecom Knowledge and Manufacturing Hub of Asia Pacific nations, by driving Telecom Standards, Manufacturing Support and Network Building Skill-sets in the interests of this region and market. TEC would now have to deal with visualization and strategic positioning of future telecom sector in India, technological forecasting, assessment, and specification of next generation network elements. Conformity to standards would play a crucial role in the interoperability between network elements and quality of service. With liberalization of telecom, lot of expertise is available with different operators as well as manufacturers and vendors. Adoption of standards and the associated conformity tests would have to be undertaken by TEC through a process of technical consultation by pooling together such industry expertise.
Telecom Commission has recognised the need for network requirement standards and has approved the process of certification in mandatory conformity tests for all equipment. TEC would recognize, as per International best practices, other test labs in India and abroad for the purpose of speedy and efficient testing and certification process. Tests would be carried out routinely by Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB) duly designated by TEC.
Conformity tests would be related not only to requirements for interface specifications to meet interoperability and interconnectivity needs, but also for EMI/EMC, safety, security and quality requirements. These requirements are known as “Generic Requirements”. Network elements that meet conformity tests for these generic requirements would be eligible to get a “TEC certification of Type Approval” that shall permit their utilization in Indian telecom network.
State-of-the-art testing facilities for evaluation of telecom equipment against mandatory requirements are already being implemented and NGN labs are being setup in TEC. These labs would provide a test bed primarily for finalising test processes and procedures for standardizing tests.Further, it is envisaged to globalize the process through Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with other countries.