Amazon to preserve selling unlawful cell sign boosters no matter telcos’ enchantment

New Delhi: Amazon has scuttled a request from telecom carrier providers to forestall the sale of unlawful mobile sign boosters on its platform at a time while customers are grappling with poor great of wi-fi offerings. Its rivals, Walmart-Flipkart and Snapdeal, have removed those merchandise from their web sites.
Amazon contended that it’s far merely an intermediary between the purchaser and the seller and have not to be held accountable to conform with laws relevant to the respective merchandise.
The US-based totally online market’s stance has dampened the efforts of telecom operators to crack down at the sale of cell sign boosters, which they believe are liable for network interference.
Last month, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had written to e-trade majors such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal, asking them to right away prevent the sale of the devices, because it turned into unlawful to promote them without a licence from the government. This system, COAI said, cause community interference and impact the satisfactory of the carrier to end customers.
In separate letters to the e-commerce structures dated 12 March, the telcos foyer group had argued that underneath the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, ownership and sale of such gadget without a licence from the branch of telecommunications (DoT) is a punishable offence.
Such a system is available at charges upwards of ₹1,500 and is typically used to enhance alerts in areas of excessive-density population, central to greater stress at the already congested cell networks.
However, Amazon, in its response to COAI, stated that it was “no longer clear at the legal intent” of the request to take down that merchandise.
“We take into account that those merchandises have licencing necessities. However, we would love to clarify that such responsibilities rests with the consumer and the dealers and not with the marketplace,” Amazon told COAI in a letter dated 2 April.
Mint has reviewed a duplicate of the letter.
“…As an e-commerce entity operating a market, we facilitate the sale transaction between the customer and seller of products and offerings…,” it stated.
The government has also been stepping up efforts to prevent the sale of illegal cellular sign boosters. Telecom minister Manoj Sinha, in a written reply to a query inside the Lok Sabha on 2 January, had stated that e-commerce groups found to be dealing with “unauthorised” wi-fi gadget, including the mobile signal boosters, have been directed to make specific compliance with the statutory norm.
“A general of 101 notices had been issued to entities or character customers of unauthorised boosters, and sixty-three such boosters had been confiscated and deactivated,” Sinha had then informed the House.
In case of a wireless system, the consumer desires to gain a “frequency authorisation/agreement in principle letter” from DoT earlier than buying any system inside the licenced bands, and sooner or later a wi-fi working licence, at the submission of required documents and spectrum charges, in step with regulation.
Moreover, in case of wi-fi apparatus is required to be imported from overseas, the importing entity wishes an import licence, as required underneath the customs policies, from nearby licensing offices of the telecom ministry after filing vital prices and files.
“Amazon operates an online market in India. Sellers is selling their products thru the Amazon. In the market are solely responsible for all important product compliance and are required to promote products, which can be legally allowed to be sold in India. Whenever concerns approximately the listed products get raised, we evaluate the case with the dealers,” a spokesperson for Amazon said in response to an email query by Mint.

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Dennis Bailey