Beware of non-compliant mobile telephones
The number of non-compliant mobile telephones on sale in the Swiss market – especially on the internet – is increasing. This was noted by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) within the framework of performing its task of market surveillance of telecommunications equipment. In addition to the binding measures taken against market players, OFCOM also wishes to make the users and purchasers of such telephones more aware of this.
During its activities in relation to inspecting the conformity of mobile telephones, OFCOM has found that a large number of low cost mobile telephones, inspired by advanced models placed on the market by major brands, are not compliant, either in formal or technical terms. Basic models, which do not include innovative services, are also affected by the problem. These devices, essentially produced in the Asian market, have been declared non-compliant and in most cases their sale has been banned in Switzerland.
It is therefore important for players in this market to be informed and made aware of this problem, like consumers who, by purchasing such a mobile telephone, risk becoming owners of a non-compliant device and thereby causing harmful interference on mobile networks. It should be mentioned that the placing on the market of telecommunications equipment is regulated on the basis of European Directive 2014/53/EU.
OFCOM recommends checking the following points before acquiring a mobile telephone:
- The CE or TD conformity mark has been applied to the packaging and to the mobile telephone (possibly inside the battery compartment).
- A declaration of conformity (copy) must accompany the mobile telephone. Otherwise, an indication must mention that this equipment is compliant with the European RE Directive and give the location where this declaration can be obtained. Often, a copy of the declaration of conformity can be found in the user manual. When buying on the internet, the consumer may request the vendor to provide him or her with a copy of the declaration of conformity.
Vendors of mobile telephones or of telecommunications equipment in general must, in addition to the above-mentioned points, ensure that the conditions for placing the equipment on the market are met, in particular:
- The characterisation must be indicated by the type, the manufacturer's name and the serial number on the telephone or in the battery compartment.
- An indication of the telecommunications network interfaces to which the device may be connected must be provided legibly on the offering on the internet and with the equipment.
- The vendor must be able to provide the technical documentation and must ensure that it is accessible and transmissible within 10 days of a request by OFCOM. It is also recommended that a copy be retained.
Note that the distributor or importer is responsible for compliance with all the conditions for placing the equipment on the market, and in particular that the essential requirements are met: electrical safety and health, electrical compatibility and efficient use of spectrum. The distributor or importer must request from the manufacturer all guarantees that its equipment is compliant.