ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommuni-cation Authority (PTA) has issued Mobile Device Manufacturing Authorizations to 19 foreign and local companies for the production of mobile devices (2G/3G/4G) locally.

Initially valid for next 10 years, the manufacturers may also establish their own new brand under the authorisation, helping in promotion of “Manufactured in Pakistan” culture.

Mobile devices produced by these manufacturers shall not only be sold in the country but can also be exported to other competitive markets of the region and beyond.

The device manufacturing plants shall be instrumental in providing new job opportunities and low-priced handsets for the Pakistani users.

Aimed at encouraging manufacturers to set up their plants in Pakistan, the government has introduced a comprehensive and supportive Mobile Manufacturing Policy, subsequent to which the PTA issued Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Regulations in 2021. These developments made way for the issuance of manufacturing authorisations, a major milestone in the journey towards “Digital Pakistan”.

The Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Regulations, 2021 binds the manufacturers of eight percent of the total manufactured devices to be done locally by the end of two years, and displaying “Manufactured in Pakistan.”

The authorisation holder shall ensure localisation of mobile device manufacturing in the manner prescribed below: at the end of one year, two percent of total manufactured device packaging to be done locally, two percent of total manufactured device chargers to be produced locally, one percent of total manufactured device hand-free to be produced locally, 10 percent of total manufactured device motherboard assembly (PCBA) to be produced locally; at the end of 2nd year, eight percent of total manufactured device to be done locally, eight percent of total manufactured device display screens and components to be produced locally, 10 percent of total manufactured device batteries to be produced locally.

All devices shall be manufactured as per ITU-T technical standards and certification reports for all components shall be provided to the PTA for verification.

If the authorisation holder fails to comply with any of the above conditions, they can submit a written justification to the authority.

In case of same is accepted by the authority, the above conditions shall be extended for a maximum period of two years or in case of any revision in the MDM policy issued by government of Pakistan. The PTA may conduct inspections of the manufacturing facility through its designated representative to ensure that Authorization holder is complying with the standards set out in terms and conditions of the Authorization.

Provided that the Authorization holder shall demonstrate the following equipment is installed in manufacturing facility as part of inspections, Laboratory of Reliability Testing, Battery Test Lab, Accessories Test Lab, and Radio Frequency Audio and Optical Lab.

Quality and Control Testing at assembly line including Device Function Test (b) Controlled Drop test of device (c) Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) setup/tools (e.g. ESD coat, cap, wrist band etc.).

An application under sub-regulation (1) shall be accompanied with application processing fee (non-refundable) of US dollar hundred ($100) or it’s equivalent in Pak rupees to the Authority and shall submit proof of payment along with application.

The Authority may grant an Authorization to manufacture mobile devices in Pakistan to an applicant who fulfills the open, transparent and non-discriminatory eligibility criteria given by the Authority from time to time.

The Authority shall consider all applications on merit and in determining whether or not to grant a certificate, the Authority shall consider the following factors, technical competence and experience of applicant’s management and key members of staff and local participation in the business; and technical viability of the applicant’s business plan for mobile device manufacturing.

The Authority may reject an application; if it appears that the grant for the Authorization shall threaten or potentially threaten national security.

The applicant must have valid registration of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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