DoT mulling Telegraph Act inclusion for mobile devices to standardise SAR value

India’s Department of Telecom is planning to add a new regulatory certification to mobile devices to enhance safety standards.


According to a Business Standard report, the DoT is planning to change the Indian Telegraph Rules, 1951, to include mobile devices, made in India or abroad, display the specific absorption rate (SAR) value, along side the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This would mean all manufacturers will have to clear the local regulatory tests, before their phones can go on sale.


The DoT will change the status of mobiles from consumer goods so that they can be included in the Telegraph Act and can be screened at local labs before going on sale. At present, the DoT cannot ask manufacturers to comply to such screening seeing as mobile handsets are categorised as consumer goods by the Indian government. A Telecom Testing & Security Certification centre would be setup for the purpose of finalising the testing norm, while the Bureau of Indian Standard will formulate product standards for mobile devices.


As of now, the permitted SAR value is 1.6 watts a kg (w/kg) over a gram of human tissue, which was fixed in 2012. Companies will have to mention the actual SAR measurement value for the device and related information in the user manual. In addition, the proposal states that users should be easily able to see this information on the device itself, as is the case with IMEIs. The proposal states that when ‘*#07#’ is keyed in, the device should display the maximum SAR level.

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