NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

Challenges of Meeting Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) Requirements

Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) requirements for products that operate in certain 5 GHz bands are now firmly established in most regions of the world. DFS is a mechanism that allows sharing of spectrum with radar systems operating in the 5250-5350 MHz, 5470-5725 MHz and in some regions of the world 5725-5850 MHz of the RF spectrum. Regulatory authorities required this sharing mechanism when the decision to open this spectrum up for uses like WiFi was adopted. The mechanism needed to verify that a channel is free of radar before using it, monitoring a channel for radar once a channel is in use, vacating the channel if radar is detected and remain off of a channel on which radar has been detected.

In some cases, the requirements have continued to evolve. For example, last year the FCC updated their testing procedures (KDB 905462 D02) for the Bin 5 radar type waveform to use a fixed width chirp in a given trial and changed which frequencies are used for each trial in the statistical performance check.

A continuing challenge is the requirement that the FCC pre test all products that are required to detect radar transmissions prior to a grant of equipment authorization being issued by a Certification Body. Depending on the FCC workload this can delay FCC certification by 1-3 months.

Since DFS compliance is primarily related to the software controlling a radio, it is necessary to involve software development personnel in DFS evaluation process that includes debug of issues found during testing. In addition, a description of how the product software that controls the radio DFS functions is secured to prevent tampering with by users of the product is necessary for product approval.

DFS testing involves different operation of the radio from other certification testing. Normal product operation with the added ability to restrict DFS functions and report detections are needed (KDB 905462 D04). Testing will proceed more quickly if a complete setup typical of actual use with the device configured to communicate with another product in a manner that produces a sufficiently high use of the channel (typically 17-30%). Additional information needed for performing the tests are the modes of operation, 99% bandwidth for each mode and antenna types and gains (testing with the lowest gain antennas is required).

If you have any questions regarding the best methods to ensure your DFS test session is successful to gain compliance, ask our experts or call 800-270-2516.

Acoustic Noise Testing Explained

Fremont, CA 10 Mic Acoustic Set Up

NTS 10 Microphone Acoustic Set Up

Acoustic noise testing is the measurement of sound emissions radiating from the equipment under test. In other words, how loud is the equipment?

Why test for acoustic noise?

Many markets and industries require acoustic noise testing to protect the hearing of technicians and users of equipment.

  • Regulatory: OSHA and other international regulatory bodies require that acoustic noise emissions values of many different types of equipment be declared in order for the equipment to be legally sold.
  • Telecommunications: AT&T, Verizon and Telcordia require acoustic noise testing to be performed on products being deployed in central offices, data centers, customer premises and outside plant environments.
  • Medical: Life critical devices need to have a minimum loudness and frequency range for tones and alarms in order to be heard by doctors, nurses and medical technicians.
  • Business/ITE: Equipment that generates annoying or loud tones and buzzes can easily be heard throughout an office environment.
  • Military: Military and defense products are required to undergo acoustic noise testing to prevent hearing loss, permit acceptable speech communication and minimize aural detection by the enemy.

Industry standards which cover acoustic noise testing include: ISO 9296, ISO 7779, ISO 3744, GR-63-CORE, ETSI EN 300 753, IEC 60601, and MIL-STD-1474D (previously MIL-STD-740).

Sound Pressure vs. Sound Power

Sound pressure is the difference in pressure between the instantaneous pressure the audible wave generates and the static pressure of the background environment. This is what your ear actually perceives. The measurement is usually expressed in Pascals or Dynes per square centimeter.

Sound power is the sound pressure taken at multiple points through a surface in space (measurement surface). It is the product of the sound pressure and the particle velocity normal to the surface integrated over the surface. This is a measurement of sound energy over time radiating from a source. The measurement is usually expressed in Watts.

Some standards dictate measurements be expressed in raw sound pressure, and others in sound power. Sound pressure varies between environments based on background noise and reflections. Sound power is a calculation that tries to eliminate the variations that sound pressure is prone to. Using the measurement techniques of ISO 3744 and NTS’s semi-anechoic chambers, consistent reliable sound power values are achievable and can be easily used to compare different product configurations, cooling fan vendors and fan speeds.

A-Weighting & (1/3) Octave Bands

  • A-weighting is a weighting curve applied to sound pressure measurements that replicates the response of the human ear across the entire audible spectrum from 10 Hz to 20 kHz. Most standards require sound pressure measurements to be A-weighted.
  • Octave bands and 1/3 octave bands subdivide the spectrum into different bands to analyze which frequencies in the spectrum have the most sound pressure content. Some standards require specific octave and 1/3 octave bands (such as those closest to human speech) to have lower sound pressure content than others.

10 Microphone Array

NTS Silicon Valley recently upgraded our acoustic noise data acquisition system from a single microphone to a 10 microphone array. This new setup can capture multiple sound pressure measurements or an entire sound power field instantaneously. Our customers can now test many different product configurations in a single day long test session allowing faster troubleshooting and ultimately a quicker time to market.

FCC 5GHz UNII Rule Changes

Will the FCC Extend the June 2, 2016 Deadline?FCC Recognition

Our FCC certifications team has received many questions related to the FCC 5GHz rule changes implemented in FCC Report & Order 14-30, June 2014.

The FCC issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) – FCC 16-24 – on Wednesday March 2, 2016 that has added to the confusion.

The most often asked question: Is the FCC going to delay the June 2, 2016 deadline for all devices (new and older devices still being sold) to be approved using the new rules?

Answer:  No.  Come June 2, 2016 all 5GHz unlicensed devices still shipping must be approved using the FCC rules issued in June 2014.

The MO&O issue addressed spurious emissions limits for the 5725-5850MHz band.  This was a point of contention when the rules were updated to change the rule part under which devices using the this band were approved.  There has been an ongoing discussion between manufacturers and the FCC regarding this band.  Previously, most manufacturers approved their devices that operated in this band using the limits published in FCC §15.247.  The 5 GHz rule update made the limits more restrictive, specifically at the band-edges, and greatly impacted manufactures that used higher gain antennas intended for long distance links.

Manufactures that performed permissive changes to update to the new rules usually had to reduce power for channels at the edge of the band from their original approvals.

Under the MO&O, issued last week, the FCC is updating the rules to allow two different options for showing compliance with the spurious emission requirement for UNII devices operating in the 5725-5850MHz band (UNII-3 band).  One option is a mask that is less stringent than the current requirement.  This is the long term requirement.  The second option is a temporary option that allows manufactures to revert to the 15.247 limit in the rules prior to June 2014 for spurious emissions.  How temporary depends on the gain of the antennas used.  Devices with antennas >10dBi have until March 2, 2018 to update their approval to the mask.  If their antenna gain is <10dBi, they have until March 2, 2020 to update to the mask.

The MO&O can NOT be used for certification yet.  The updated rules need to be first published in the Federal Register and then there is a 30 day delay before TCBs can approve applications using either of the options.  When the MO&O will get published in the Federal Register is unknown.

Options for New Devices Seeking Authorization

For new devices seeking authorization, manufactures have a few choices at this time on how to test the UNII-3 band:

  1. Use the current (aka – new 5GHz rules, from 2014).
  2. Use the mask, and understand that certification will have to wait for the rules to go into effect.
  3. Use the 15.247(d) limits, knowing they will need to update their approval in the future (if still shipping), and understand that certification will have to wait for the rules to go into effect

Devices currently approved using the “old” rules, with the 5725-5850MHz band approved under the DTS/15.247 rules, still need to get updated to the new rules by June 2, 2016 or stop shipping.  The options are:

  1. Test the 5725-5850MHz band against the most stringent June 2014 UNII limit.  Reduce power, and file a Class II Permissive Change (C2PC)
  2. Test the band against the new mask.  File a C2PC once the rules go live
  3. Use the old 15.247 report (Note: we are still waiting confirmation from the FCC that this would be allowed), no testing, and file a C2PC once the rules go live.  This would give manufactures a couple of years to deal with the change.  It is likely that the FCC will require a new report with 15.407 references to be submitted.

An additional note, this does not address any of the other requirements that need to be met for the new rules (UNII-1, DFS, software security) that still need to be met by June 2, 2016. These must be included in new and C2PC filings.

For more information, please contact us at (800) 270-2516 or via email to sales@nts.com. If you would like to book your testing prior to the deadlines, please use our Request a Quote form for the quickest response.

FCC Changes Rules for Testing Facilities

FCC RecognitionAs of July 13, 2016 manufacturers looking for FCC certification for the EMC approval of products for sale in the US must utilize an FCC Recognized Accredited Laboratory.

Previously manufacturers seeking FCC certification were permitted to use laboratories which were FCC Listed or laboratories who were FCC Recognized Accredited Test Laboratories like NTS.

There are nearly 600 FCC Listed labs worldwide who must achieve accreditation as FCC Recognized accredited test laboratories before the end of the transition period. However, a condition for accreditation is that the laboratory must be physically located in a country with which the USA has a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) or obtain accreditation from a FCC recognized laboratory accreditation body. Countries who currently have MRA’s in place are the US, Canada, EU, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Israel. Visit the FCC.gov website for the list of FCC accepted test laboratory accrediting bodies here: https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/mra/reports/AccreditingBodyReport.cfm .

It is anticipated that there will be an increase in demand for testing at the FCC Recognized laboratories as these changes go into effect, act today and contact NTS to discuss your program and schedule your product testing early!

How to Obtain FCC Authorization

FCC Authroization Process

The FCC Authorization Process

Manufacturers looking to sell most electronic products such as smartphones, vehicle remote controls, RFID sensors, low-powered transmitters, computers, networking and other telecom equipment here in the United States must ensure that their equipment won’t interfere with others or cause harm to the public.

The Federal Communications Commission oversees requirements for testing and wants to make sure goods are safe and adhere to adopted U.S. technical standards. The FCC is in charge of monitoring devices that emit information across almost any radio frequency band and governing the potential for interference.

Equipment must be tested before it can be marketed or sold in the U.S. When manufacturers sell equipment without the appropriate approval, they can be fined or even see their goods and profits seized.

What is FCC Authorization?

What Is FCC Authorization?

The FCC authorization process is a relatively simple process once your goods are ready to be mass-produced and sold to consumers.

An FCC accepted Telecommunications Certification Body or laboratory will review the technical specifications of your device and results of testing. Your device is tested to see if it may cause interference with other equipment, broadcasts in the correct radio frequency range and if it meets broader telecommunications requirements.

When you want your equipment tested and authorized, you’ll need to provide a set of technical specifications to NTS. After receiving your documentation, we’ll test the device to ensure it meets all FCC requirements.

After the testing, you may need to apply for certification authorization from a Telecommunications Certification Body, and that’s a step we at NTS can help you with as well.

What Is the Difference Between Certification, Declaration of Conformity and Verification?

FCC Verification vs Declaration of Conformity vs Certification

When you look at the FCC’s documentation covering its authorization processes, you’ve probably seen options for “Verification,” “Declaration of Conformity” and “Certification.” The guidelines can be a little vague on the difference, so let’s look into it.

Verification: Devices without radio-communications capabilities often only need to be verified and can be tested by the manufacturer or laboratory. When these devices are found to be compliant, they can be marketed and sold without FCC approval. The tests needed for verification measure how much radio frequency energy is radiated by the device when powered on, ensuring they stay below a low threshold.

The FCC lists common devices that only need verification including: Class A computer equipment, TV receivers, FM receivers, and some industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) equipment.

Declaration of Conformity: This procedure requires an accredited laboratory to measure radio frequency energy from your device to ensure that it meets relevant technical standards. Declarations of conformity don’t require you to submit any device samples or data directly to a TCB.

For Declaration of Conformity, the FCC has slightly stricter testing requirements. Your equipment must be tested by a laboratory that is accredited by an accreditation body such as:

  • National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP)
  • American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
  • Foreign Accreditation body via a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)

Common devices that require this declaration include Class B personal computers and peripheral devices; TV interface devices like set-top boxes and Internet-connected boxes; CB radio receivers; and super-regenerative receivers.

You should discuss your declaration needs and questions with NTS before settling on just a verification plan. Protect your company and your equipment, especially if many consumers will enjoy what it provides.

Certification: The most demanding of authorizations that we’re discussing is FCC certification. The FCC reserves this type of authorization for equipment that is most likely to interfere with other equipment, signals, and emergency information.

Devices needing certification cover a wide range of industries and use cases: from smartphones and family radios to telemetry transmitters, microwaves and ultra wideband receivers. FCC Certifications are issued by Telecommunication Certification Bodies (TCBs). Depending on the device you make, you may also need to submit devices for testing by the FCC.

What products need FCC Authorization?

What Products Need FCC Authorization?

Most products that can emit radio frequency energy need to be evaluated for an FCC authorization. Specifics for understanding FCC authorizations can be a little tricky because the law the governs it, Title 47 of CFR , is difficult to read. The best rule of thumb is that any electronics device with the ability to oscillate above 9 kHz must get an FCC authorization, but there are exempted products.


The products that need authorization are either intentional or unintentional radiators of radio frequency energy.

Intentional radiators are devices that must broadcast radio energy in order to operate; they intentionally use the radio spectrum. Common examples of these devices include:

  • Smartphones
  • Headsets, speakers and other devices that connect via Bluetooth
  • Wireless connection devices such as Wi-Fi routers
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth components of Personal computers, laptops and tablets
  • CB radios
  • Walkie-Talkies
  • Short-range broadcast equipment
  • Wireless key-access systems

Unintentional radiators are electronics that can create radio signals and broadcast them through space or power lines. Their operation generates radio energy but isn’t specifically designed to transmit information through this energy. Devices created to receive radio waves fall into this category because they can often emit radio waves as a byproduct of focusing signals for reception. Many personal electronics that you’re familiar with fall into this category:

  • Digital cameras
  • TV sets and receivers
  • Game consoles
  • Older e-readers and PCs
  • Older phones and modems
  • Fax machines and other devices utilizing telephone lines

So called Digital Devices are broken down into two testing classes: Class A and Class B. Class A covers devices that are used primarily in industrial, commercial and engineering settings. These are devices that will often be used during production, testing and operation in controlled environments.

The Class B designation is reserved for consumer devices, and it is a stricter set of limits.

How do you obtain FCC Authorization?

How Do You Obtain FCC Authorization?

FCC Authorization Process

Obtaining FCC authorization can seem as straightforward as submitting your product and technical specifications to a testing lab and then sitting back to wait for the results. You can go that route, but you may risk products failing and not receiving enough information to properly fix any issue.

We recommend that you start working with a testing partner such as NTS early on, so you can begin the device optimization process early, improving your chance for testing success. This is especially true for products that intentionally use RF where a certification authorization is required. Here are some of the steps we recommend any device manufacturer take when they consider FCC certification authorization.

Step 1: Selecting Frequency and Equipment

The tests your devices are submitted to often depend on the radio frequency used. Focus on the spectrum and match your components to that spectrum to start off on the best foot.

Start by learning about what frequencies are legally open to you and your equipment. You can find the FCC’s current guidelines on radio spectrum allocation, to see what is available, what is restricted, and what is owned but has the potential to be leased.

Determine what frequencies are available to you legally and then review the FCC documentation to limit any technical concerns. Research can reveal known issues that may increase the risk of interference, inhibit range and propagation, introduce requirements around antenna length or increase power consumption.

After you’ve picked your frequency, review your designs to ensure that your antenna is optimized for the frequency. The governing sections of FCC Title 47 CFR Part 15 tell you of any harmonic or power limitations that your equipment must meet. Other FCC rules parts may also need to be consulted depending on frequency and use.

Step 2: Test When Ready

Obtaining FCC certification is difficult if you’re not working with a production-ready device. Many manufacturers have started the certification process with an early-stage prototype, only to find they needed a significant redesign to have the device operate as intended.

Your bottom line dictates that you need to move from concepts and prototypes to store shelves as soon as possible, but a major failure of an FCC certification test may send you back to the drawing board.

Once you have a production-ready model, perform as many operational tests in-house as you can. These don’t have to be FCC certification tests – the results won’t count unless performed by an accredited partner – but should include testing to ensure you’re compliant with the appropriate FCC rule parts.

Analyze output across any spectrum you can and verify that your antennas are optimally placed and designed. NTS can help you with these tests if you don’t have access to the right equipment in house. Early testing can move you through the certification process faster and help you correctly provide all of the necessary information.

Step 3: Register Your Company

You need an FCC Registration Number (FRN) if you want to obtain certification authorizations for devices that use the radio spectrum. This number establishes that you’re doing business with the FCC or using a spectrum that the FCC has regulatory authority over.

Acquiring an FRN is simple and free. Simply go to the FCC’s CORES page to register, provide your business address and contact information, and submit the document. At the end of that process, you’ll get your own FRN and have the option to request a grantee code. Grantee codes are required for certification and to sell your products, and they may be obtained for a nominal fee

Step 4: Select Your Lab Partner

When you have your FRN and grantee codes in hand, it’s time to contact an FCC registered testing facility. There are many testing partners like NTS all around the U.S. Working with us can help you achieve all of the certifications you need, including defense industry compliance and FCC certification.

Your lab partner should be able to perform as much of the testing as possible. We can help you with every aspect of testing, use our own equipment, walk you through test failures and successes, and work with you to help products pass tests.

When working hard to get your product to market, diving into FCC guidance can create an undue burden. Many manufacturers have increased their cost and time-to-market by trying to perform FCC testing themselves. Allowing a lab to perform the work they’re certified to do is a smart way to keep your prototype on track.

Lab quality, testing facilities, and capabilities can vary significantly, so we recommend working with NTS, the largest test laboratory network in North America.

Step 5: Deliver and Test

After you’ve selected a lab partner you trust, it’s time to provide them your equipment and information.

Deliver the prototype that is closest to production-ready and all of its technical specifications to your lab partner. You can also have a representative observe the tests, but it is typically not necessary.

Testing takes roughly two weeks – often less – and you can have a top estimate by reaching out beforehand and establishing a testing schedule with your lab partner. Labs will review your product and information, determine which specifications you need to have tested, and perform the tests the FCC will require. Your lab will also fill out all of the testing paperwork. We at NTS believe you should always work with a partner who has a verified process to double-check any documentation it produces.

FCC Filing and Labeling

Filing and Labeling

A TCB will issue your FCC certification. Your lab will need to provide the TCB with all of the relevant information and this body issues your certification on behalf of the FCC.

Once the TCB uploads your information to the FCC database, the FCC will list your product on its approved list. The TCB will send you your Grant of Equipment Authorization. When you receive the grant, you can legally market and sell your product here in the U.S.

Portions of the documents submitted to the FCC can be restricted. That means portions of the filing such as schematics and block diagrams don’t have to appear on the FCC site. Both your lab and FCC will want to protect your intellectual property, but you need to ask for that help.


One extremely important thing to note is that the FCC has very specific guidelines for how your product must show its regulatory information and FCC certification number. View their guidance here, but also check with your lab partner to ensure that you’ve included all of the relevant information.

Contact NTS for Your Certification Needs

Testing with a certified partner like NTS can save you money whether you’re in need of certification or just a simple verification. Emissions monitoring, use of an anechoic chamber and filling out the documents required by the FCC can be a difficult endeavor.

Save yourself the headache and the time by working with NTS and our in-house testing equipment. Not only will we ensure that all of the tests are performed and recorded correctly, but we can even work with you to resolve any issues causing a test failure. From working with you to find the right ferrite beads and inductors or design adjustments that can reduce unintentional radiation, NTS has the facilities and know-how to get your equipment into the hands of waiting customers.

Contact NTS to learn about all of the testing facilities and capabilities NTS has to offer. Protect your bottom line and speed your time-to-market by working with us today.

FCC Postpones 15.37(h) 5745-5850 MHz U-NII transition requirement until Dec 2, 2015

On June 1, 2015 the FCC released a bulletin regarding the revision of Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules to Permit Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) Devices in the 5GHz band. You can review the bulletin the here: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0601/FCC-15-61A1.pdf

The FCC has postponed the 6/2/15 mandatory effective date of transition for devices using digital modulation techniques in the 5725-5850 MHz bands no longer being certified under the provisions of §15.247.  Effective 12/2/2015 such devices will now need to comply with the revised provisions of §15.407.

The FCC is likely to update the KDB documents that reference this transition provision (such as KDB 905462).

Contact NTS to update your current approvals and/or address new wireless approvals.

NTS Silicon Valley Upgrades Wireless Testing Capabilities

Silicon Valley 002Earlier this summer, NTS Silicon Valley upgraded its wireless testing capabilities through the acquisition of a new state of the art test system integrating all relevant test suites into a single place. “It was a sizeable investment,” said Gaylon Morris, General Manager, “however recent customers have been able to take advantage of easier and faster testing for certain commercial and consumer wireless devices.”

The lab is now able to quickly complete testing requirements for the latest versions of the following standards:

  • EN 300 328 (2.4 GHz band)
  • EN 301 893 (5 GHz bands)

These standards cover testing required for many wireless devices operating in the indicated frequency bands, most WiFi and Bluetooth device manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of other data transmission devices that operate in these frequency bands. This new system coupled with NTS’s Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB) and Notified Body services can provide the fastest time to market for your products.

Additionally, NTS Silicon Valley’s Wireless Testing Group recently added the ability to successfully test and evaluate FCC 15.407 (5.725-5.85 GHz) devices as well as LTE (or Long Term Evolution) wireless devices including modules, handsets, tablets and other such mobile devices.

For more information on these new services please contact the lab at 510.578.3500 or email sales@nts.com 

IEC 62368-1: The new standard for Information Technology and Audio Video equipment

By Noel Lovato, Product Safety Manager, NTS Silicon Valley

The next five years will be critical for manufacturers of Information Technology, IEC 60950-1 and Audio Video Equipment, IEC 60065-1. A new standard has been developed and is expected to be required in many countries throughout the world. That standard is IEC 62368-1, Audio/Video, information and communication technology equipment – Part 1: Safety*.

This standard is unique approach in that it is based on hazard based engineering that is intended to be adaptable to new and innovative technologies instead of constantly amending existing standards to address this.

This First Edition of this standard has been around for a few years, but has not gained worldwide acceptance. The Second edition is anticipated to be accepted on a more global basis. That is expected to be formally accepted in mid to late May, 2014. This does not mean it will be required immediately, but will be phased in anywhere from a 3-5 year period.

What does this mean for products currently certified to either IEC 60950-1 or IEC 60065-1? Initially not much as those standards will still be accepted for several years to come. However, by 2019, IEC 62368-1 is expected to be fully required in North America, EU and a few other countries around the world. As always, there will most likely be a few countries not adopting it by then, but those counties have yet to be determined. At this time, it appears that manufacturer’s will need to determine prior to 2019 if existing product need to be evaluated to the new requirements.

One critical item about the new standard that although it is a hazardous based standard, this does not mean manufacturers will have to develop risk assessments for their products like some other standards require. What this does mean is that risk analysis was used to development the specific safety requirements of the standard. The standard itself uses specific compliance and performance criteria to demonstrate compliance to the relief of manufacturers.

Please contact us for more information via email or call at 510-578-3500 for questions you may have regarding this standard and how it affects your future test programs.

*Corresponding UL/CSA/EN versions of the Standards are also in various stages of acceptance as well.

New FCC Rules for unlicensed radio equipment operating in the 5.15 – 5.85 GHz frequency bands

By David Bare, Chief Engineer, NTS Silicon Valley

The FCC recently adopted revised rules for products that operate in unlicensed frequency bands from 5 – 6 GHz per Part 15 Subpart E of the FCC Rules. The rules were published in the Federal Register of the US Government and will become effective on June 2, 2014. The main objectives of the revised rules was to consolidate the rules for the frequency band 5725 – 5850 MHz, to allow operation in more of the 5-6 GHz spectrum and to allow additional output power and outdoor operation in the 5150-5250 MHz band. All three objectives were met but the extension of operation to more frequencies was limited to just adding the 5600-5650 MHz band. The FCC is working on draft test procedures to accommodate the changes in the rules.

New products may be approved (Certified) using these new rules as soon as the test procedures are finalized after June 2, 2014. New and existing products can continue to be approved and sold under the old rules until June 2, 2015. Existing products may continue to be sold and approved with modifications until June 2, 2016. After June 2, 2016, all products sold must comply with the new rules. There is no “grandfathering” of products after this deadline.

Taking a more detailed look at the rule changes.

In the 5150-5250 MHz band, the new rules allow conducted power up to 1 watt and radiated power up to 4 watts for access points. However, the rules limit radiated power above a 30° elevation above the horizon to 0.125 watts for outdoor use. This creates a requirement for the beamwidth of the antenna(s) used with the product if your power will exceed 0.125 watts. The draft procedure provides guidance on making measurements, performing calculations or simulations to show the radiated power versus elevation angle. Fixed point to point products in this band are allowed 1 watt of conducted power and 200 watts of radiated power.

In the 5150-5250 MHz band, the new rules allow conducted power up to 250 milliwatts and radiated power up to 1 watt for mobile and portable client devices.

An increase in power over the value on the existing approval (as shown on the FCC Grant) may be done by filing a permissive change application since the rules will change to allow higher output power. It should be noted that normally, the output power of a product cannot be increased without obtaining a complete new approval.

In the 5725-5850 MHz band, the minimum bandwidth is effectively reduced to 500 kHz as no power reduction is required unless the bandwidth is less than 500 kHz.

In the 5725-5850 MHz band, the emissions limits in the spectrum adjacent to the band are lower than those allowed by §15.247 of the old FCC rules for this band.

A new requirement for a description of the security procedures employed in the product to prevent unauthorized modifications of the RF parameters has been added.

Dynamic Frequency Selection detection bandwidth has been increased to minimum of the 99% power bandwidth from a minimum of 80% of the 99% power bandwidth. The step size used during detection bandwidth testing may be increased to 5 MHz reducing to 1 MHz as you near the edge of the detection bandwidth.

A new type 1 radar has been specified for Dynamic Frequency Selection.

Dynamic Frequency Selection channel loading requirements have been changed. A minimum channel loading of 17% must be demonstrated. Typical data shall be used instead of only using the FCC designated MPEG file or method approved by the FCC. If desired, other software to generate data can be used but must be random in nature.

To take advantage of the provisions of the new rules, you must address all of the changes. You may not mix the old and new rules. Depending on your product, complying with the new rules may only take a few measurements and security software changes or it may take full DFS, power, radiated power versus elevation, spurious emissions and SAR testing. In any situation, a permissive change application is required. Please contact your NTS representative with your product information for more details on applicable tests.


Although the FCC is changing their Rules, Industry Canada will not change their requirements in the short term to match the changes made by the FCC. Industry Canada indicated they are planning on writing a new RSS-247 that will likely be harmonized with the new FCC Rules. This affects products that are sold with a single SKU for the US and Canadian markets and you want to use the new FCC Rules.

For more information about how this change affects your products or for a price quote for services, please contact us via email or call at 510-578-3500.

UAE – Radio/Telecom Update

UAE – Radio/Telecom
The TRA (Telecommunication Regulatory Authority in the UAE, United Arabic Emirates) is now requesting samples for telecom and radio approvals. According to the authority, verifications on the sample must be done in country and soon they will start to implement in country radio testing for 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices.   However, as of this date, the commercial samples need to be provided (in marketing package as sold) for TRA type approval as well as for TRA type approval renewals. Contact us for more details.

CHINA – Radio
Radio modular approval scheme is now available in China under the SRRC approval scheme. There are two types of modular approvals: complete and operated dependently; and limited and operated dependently. Final equipment using the radio module approved under the “complete” scheme do not need any additional approval and a statement must be used on the product declaring the module is approved, much like the FCC Full Module Approval Scheme. Final equipment using the radio module approved under the “limited” scheme will need additional SRRC testing and approvals.  Contact us for more details.

If you think your product is subject to these new requirements or would like a solution to obtain international approvals, please contact NTS at svinfo@nts.com or call at 510-578-3500.