Udayavni Special

Around 50 lakh mobile devices may need repair to support work from home

PTI, Apr 15, 2020, 8:43 AM IST

New Delhi: Mobile phone players estimate that over 50 lakh mobile devices, including laptops, may require repairing during the lockdown period to support work from home.

About 97 per cent of the broadband connections in the country operate through mobile devices, as per data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

“There are around 80 crore mobile devices operational in the country out of which around 50 lakh need repair every month. Many players are providing online support but in most of the cases, customers need to visit repair centres. Based on the data consumption growth trend, usage of mobile devices have gone up. Therefore, load on the devices has also increased,” a senior official of a home-grown mobile phone company said.

According to after sales services firm Onsitego, around 71 per cent of mobile phone repair issues are related to screen damage, followed by problems in switching on of devices.

Onsitego Chief Delivery Officer Sunil Gandhe said the smartphone protection market in 2019 was estimated to be around Rs 540 crore. This means repair work of around Rs 45 crore is carried out every month.

When contacted, India Cellular and Electronics Association said it has written to the government requesting to bring mobile devices under the essential category during the lockdown.

“Depriving citizens repairs and purchase of extremely badly needed feature phones for poor people is not appropriate. Citizens particularly farmers also want to upgrade to entry level smartphones to keep their enterprises going. Education of children also requires at least an entry level smartphone. All of this must be enabled,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Maohindroo said.

ICEA has sought government permission to only allow opening of “company-owned” or “company-authorized” service centers as it will automatically bring down the number of service centres to a small fraction of the total outlets that sell or service mobile devices.

The industry has also requested the government to allow online sale of mobile phones during the lockdown.

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