Citing consumer safety, especially of women, Department of Telecom has rejected handset makers’ demand for using alternative technology instead of GPS in low-cost mobiles, while the industry warned that the decision will push up prices of such feature phones by over 50 per cent.

The government has made it mandatory to install Global Positioning System (GPS) in all mobile phones, including feature phones that will be sold in India, from January 1, 2018 so as to locate subscribers in emergency situations. “GPS is the main tool regarding location details of the subscriber in emergency, so government has decided to implement it in all the mobile phone handsets from 1 January 2018 in a positive manner,” the DoT has said in a reply to industry body Indian Cellular Association (ICA). ICA, which represents majority of mobile phone companies in India, had written to the government to use A-GPS technology which can help in locating callers using mobile towers near their location.

DoT however said the method used for locating caller with the help of mobile towers is not very accurate.

When contacted, ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo said: “The price of low-cost feature phones may rise by over 50 per cent as adding GPS system will require better configuration.” – The Hindu Business Line


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