India’s mobile phone industry has written to the telecom regulator, asking it to tell the telecom department to drop a clause mandating GPS implementation on all mobile phones by January 1, 2018, as it would be a blow specifically to the feature phone industry since it would substantially raise the cost to consumer.
While all smartphones have GPS pre-installed, introducing the location service in feature phones may push up cost by as much as Rs 400, which would hurt sales as these phones are mostly priced between Rs 500 and Rs 1,500, experts said.
The industry has reached out to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which had advised the Department of Telecommunications to include GPS-based guidelines in an April 2016 order mandating introduction of panic buttons on all new phones.
Indian Cellular Association said it hadn’t agreed. “The inclusion of provisions of GPS capability from the 1st of January 2018 came entirely as a surprise for the industry,” the ICA said in a letter to the Trai dated March 29. The letter was seen by ET.
“…no such provision was agreed to by the industry and ICA during any of the industry stakeholder consultations held by the telecom department prior to the publishing of the notification by DoT,” the association added.