Wireless and RF Testing For FCC Compliance
If your wireless product emits RF energy and you plan to market it in the United States, then it must comply with certain FCC regulations which will involve wireless and RF testing. If you want to minimize your time to market and avoid wasting money on developing products that will fail compliance testing, then you should begin considering the regulatory requirements that may be involved as soon as possible.
The Importance of FCC Authorization
If your product emits RF energy, it will require FCC-related testing and certification if you are planning to market or sell it in the United States. Any electronics device that can oscillate above 9 kHz must get an FCC authorization with few exceptions. If authorization is not obtained before you begin marketing and sales, you can be fined and even have your profits and products seized. The importance of receiving the correct authorizations cannot be overemphasized.
If you plan to sell your wireless/RF products in the United States, it is your responsibility to ensure that your products will not interfere with other products or put the public at risk of harm. Compliance is enforced by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), per Title 47 of CFR (Code of Federal Regulations). In order to demonstrate compliance, your product must successfully complete accredited testing and receive FCC certification.
FCC Part 15 Testing & Certification
An important part of the compliance puzzle is FCC Part 15, a section of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations. FCC Part 15 includes regulations that limit how much electromagnetic interference devices (including wireless and RF) are allowed to emit and also deals with equally important administrative requirements, technical specifications, and conditions that relate to how FCC Part 15 devices are marketed. Again, the major emphasis of such regulations is the safe operation of your device as it relates to RF emissions.
FCC RF Radiator Classifications
FCC Part 15 sets out the regulations under which radiators of RF energy can be operated without requiring an individual license, which is very important to the successful sales of your product. The FCC specifies three different types of radiators: intentional, unintentional, and incidental, of which intentional and unintentional require authorization.
An intentional radiator generates and emits RF energy intentionally (i.e., as part of their operation, such as a smartphone) either by induction or radiation.
Unintentional radiators, on the other hand, use RF energy and may send RF signals via conduction, but do not intentionally emit RF energy. Incidental radiators can emit EF energy during operation but are not designed to do so intentionally, and do not require authorization. This implies that, before any type of FCC-related compliance testing begins, you must understand what category your product falls under and proceed from there.
Other FCC Tests
Other types of FCC tests that are related to wireless and RF devices include the following: …
- FCC Part 2: Frequency Allocations & Radio Treaty Matters and General Rules & Regulations
- FCC Part 11: EAS (Emergency Alert System)
- FCC Part 18: Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Equipment
- FCC Part 22: Public Mobile Services
- FCC Part 24: Personal Communication Services
- FCC Part 25: Satellite Communications
- FCC Part 27: Miscellaneous Wireless Communication Services
- FCC Part 68: Connection of Terminal Equipment
Telecom Certification Bodies
TCB stands for Telecom Certification Body, and such institutions have the authority to issue Grants of Equipment Authorization for devices found to be in compliance with Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Once such a grant is issued, your product can be marketed in the United States.
Wireless and RF Testing
The overall objective of wireless testing is to evaluate (1) the ability of your product to connect with networks and other devices and (2) its ability to use that connection to perform its operations. These tests include verification that it meets regulatory requirements (including those from the FCC in the US) as well as interoperability, performance and user safety tests. Your product must also demonstrate its ability to operate on the correct wireless frequency.
Why You Need the Services of a Testing Lab
The regulations and testing requirements involved with FCC compliance are complicated. It will be challenging to determine exactly what regulatory requirements apply to your product and what tests are needed. If you are wrong about what requirements and rules are applicable to your product, you may face serious fines and other financial repercussions. It is simply too much of a risk to attempt FCC certification without a knowledgeable guide.
EuroFins MET Labs: Your Solution for FCC Compliance
Eurofins is both an FCC-recognized Accredited Test Lab and a TCB. They are authorized by the FCC to determine what test procedures are applicable, test to the requirements involved, and issue Grants of Equipment. Eurofins MET Labs provides a full range of FCC Part 15 services that include pre-compliance testing, conducted and radiated emissions testing, review of documentation, and issuance of grants of FCC Equipment Authorization.
MET Labs employees highly knowledgeable and experienced engineers and testing experts. They will help you determine what regulatory requirements apply to your product and whether it even requires approval. Pre-compliance testing will reveal problems areas, and our team will help you identify the mitigation best practices that will work for you problem and advise you on design tweaks that will help your product be in compliance. Finally, they will perform the required tests in our laboratories, which offer an exhaustive range of wireless and RF testing capabilities.
As a TCB, Eurofins MET Labs offers immediate TCB filing and certification through ACTA Online Filing. This allows MET Labs to electronically file the applicable information with ACTA for inclusion in the centralized database of approved Part 68 equipment. As a result, the submission process proceeds much more quickly and, upon filing, you can immediately begin manufacturing their wireless or RF products.
Contact EuroFins MET Labs Today
Contact EuroFins MET Labs today for all your FCC wireless and RF testing needs! We can help you minimize your time to market without sacrificing compliance.