Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed all cellular and broadband operators, Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs) and dealers of IT equipment to obtain type approval for PC Tablets within next two weeks from the authority.
PTA has included PC Tablets in the Type Approval list recently, and therefore from now onwards all tablets that are traded and marketed in the country will need approval of the authority.
The regulator observed that several manufacturers, importers and service providers are marketing and selling different models and brands of tablets having WiFi, HSPA, UMTA, GSM, EVDO, and WiMax technologies.
PTA will issue type approvals for importers, makers and marketers while maintaining full details and information about equipment and accessories supplies, its dealers and users.
Authority warned all importers, marketers and service providers for stern action against them in case of non-compliance of the issued directives under Type Approval Regulations 2004.
Generally, type approval is required before a product is allowed to be sold in a particular country. Further approval or no-objection certificates are is issued to users of the equipment by the authority.
Analysts said that regulator’s steps to register electronic devices are necessary to prevent act of crime and terrorism in future. This way, authority will record the serial numbers and other details of tablet devices to maintain a record of users’ and traders’ identities to trace them immediately in case of any incidents and complaints.
There is a system to maintain SIM and mobile handsets identities through users’ CNIC and IMEI numbers but tablet PC were not registered by the authority earlier, they added.
Experts said that this move may hike prices of tablets by a little, however, there won’t be any significant change in the prices.
Experts said that tablets are gaining popularity in the country despite of being high-end and costly products but the fees of regulator will never affect their sales owing to users’ affordability.
In March 2011, PTA issued a Type Approval List for telecom operators. The authority identified equipment of eight categories under its type approval with varied fees separated for imported and locally-manufactured telecom equipment.
Type approval notification that was sent to IT importers and IT dealers for tablet PC can be downloaded here (PDF File – 482KB)