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DoT exempts GPS installation on feature phones; mandatory for smartphones

DoT exempts GPS installation on feature phones; mandatory for smartphones

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has exempted the mandate of installing Global Positioning System (GPS) in feature phones. However, it has been made mandatory for smartphones to have Global Positioning System installed.

In a report by the Economic Times, the DoT’s position viz a viz the installation of GPS in feature phones comes in contradiction to its earlier mandate. Earlier, it had made GPS of the triangulation method to be installed in feature phones as well. This was done keeping the safety of women in mind.

Pankaj Mahindroo, president of Indian Cellular Association, had shown concern regarding the installation of GPS. His concern was the increase in manufacturing cost, which would lead to an increase in the price of the phone.

In a previous report, the DoT had made the GPS feature mandatory in feature phones from January 2018. The Indian Cellular Association National President, Pankaj Mahindroo had told the PTI, “The price of low-cost feature phones may rise over 50 percent as adding GPS system will require better configuration”.

The DoT had even declined to add the A-GPS system, which uses cellular tower to locate a person. To this, the DoT had denied the usage of A GPS and rather wanted the use of triangulation method where the user could be tracked when the phone is in offline mode.

Now, the DoT has said that from 1 January 2018, all smartphone handset manufacturing companies shall sell smartphones that have the satellite-based GPS system feature.

No reason has been stated regarding removal of the mandate which had made the GPS compulsory in feature phones.

Previously, DoT had also made the panic button as a mandatory feature in feature phones, starting from 1 January in 2017.

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