Telecommunications Authority (BTA) has moved to ensure safety of the public from dangerous equipment through the newly introduced Type Approval act.
The above move was announced by the Director of Technical Services, Bathopi Luke at a press conference in Gaborone last week Thursday.
Addressing various stakeholders, Luke said that the ongoing issue of fake cellular phones arriving in Botswana has forced BTA to introduce the Type Approval regulation act to protect consumers.
The type approval act guide explains the practical implementation of the procedures. Its aim is to protect consumers from fake cellular phones which could prove to be a health hazard.
Luke said the arrangements for type approval are set out formally in the BTA Regulations for Registration of Terminal and Radio Equipment.
He further highlighted that all manufacturers or cellular phones and dealerships were expected to register their products with BTA unless the product concerned has been obtained from a manufacturer or importer who was already registered with BTA.
“It’s our duty to promote and facilitate a competitive information and communication technologies environment to advance the knowledge society and economic diversification of Botswana through innovative and fair regulation,”said the Director
BTA Head Standards,Cynthia Phiasa said that Type approval protects the general public by ensuring that telecommunications equipment vendors are able to offer adequate technical support.
“This is in line with one of BTA’s mandatory requirements
and offering a product not type approved is an offense which attracts a fine not less than P10 000 and not exceeding P2 000 000.” said Phiasa.
Speaking at the same conference Selina Mosupukwa from consumer protection unit, said cellular phones have attracted the most complaints from consumers with 145 complaints from April 2012 to date.
Such complaints Mosupukwa explained ranged from inability to display brand names when switched on to batteries getting too hot when charging.
Urging companies to type approve cellular phones, Mosupukwa highlighted that the consumer protection unit’s duty was to protect the interests of consumers by means of investigations, prohibition and control of unfair business practices.
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