Mobile Phone Companies Oppose ‘Panic Button’ Move, Say Will Push Up the Prices for Basic Phones
Handset makers have opposed the government’s move mandating global positioning system (GPS) on feature phones, arguing it would hit users at the lowest level as the cost of basic phones would go up by Rs 400 — a massive increase in a market where the cheapest device is available for Rs 500.
The additional cost would wipe out the entry-level feature phone segment and potentially take away basic connectivity from millions of consumers, handset makers said, a day after the government issued a directive mandating all mobile phones to have an inbuilt GPS to identify the handset user’s location from January 2018.
“Implementation of GPS in new mobile handset will not be in the interest of consumers at the bottom of the pyramid,” said Indian Cellular Association (ICA) president Pankaj Mohindroo in a letter to telecom secretary JS Deepak, a copy of which was seen by ET.
“We suggest this particular aspect may be relooked at,” he said, suggesting telecom-operator based security architecture, called A-GPS or Alternative GPS, as another way for security agencies to track consumers in need.
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