Important News Regarding 5GHz Wi-Fi, EN 301 893 & RED CE Mark Conformity Assessment

By Steve Laya, Elite Electronic Engineering

We regularly receive important information from NIST, our liaison to Europe for CE Marking conformity assessment.  Recently we were informed that the harmonized standard for Broadband Radio Access Networks (BRAN) 5GHz WiFi will be significantly delayed for release.  The publish date of EN 301 893 in the new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)will not occur until after the June 12th 2017 transition date for the RED.  

NIST is advising Notified Bodies such as Elite to anticipate the need from device manufacturers for type approval services covering 5GHz WiFi and to follow up and participate in on-going standards updates to EN 301 893.

Background:
The Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU becomes mandatory as of June 13, 2017.  Products placed on the EU market as of that date must meet the RED.  [The R&TTE Directive can then no longer be used.]    

When a manufacturer assessed compliance of radio equipment under the essential requirements of RED Articles 3.2 and 3.3 and harmonized standards are (a) applied only in part, (2) available but not applied, or (3) are not available – it is mandatory for that manufacturer to use a Notified Body (per RED Article 17.4).  

Because of technology advancements associated with LTE-LAA, the development of the technical standard for assessing compliance per EN 301 893 is still in development and waiting for approval.   

Note: For a brief description of the issues behind LTE-LAA see the webpage section on Wikipedia regarding “Controversy”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_in_unlicensed_spectrum).

The ETSI BRAN standards development working group is confirming that the revisions to the current version of EN 301 893 will not be ready in time to be placed in the OJEU (as a harmonized standard for the RED), and therefore manufacturers will be required to use a Notified Body for the type of equipment falling under this standard (Broadband Radio Access Networks (BRAN); 5 GHz high performance RLAN) for a period of time until the document is finalized and becomes a harmonized standard.  As such, there may be a high demand for the NB involvement during a period of time. 

The ETSI BRAN is also reaching out to the Notified Body community to advise them that the document will not be completed, to increase the level of understanding of changes being made (with emphasis on the addition of a new complex sharing mechanism test methodology to address new technologies),   and to provide contact information for those that want to become involved.     

In order to be prepared for this [high NB] demand, and because of the complexity of the new sharing mechanism, Notified Bodies are requested to follow up with, or participate the work, ongoing in ETSI BRAN to become familiar with these major changes in EN 301 893.

Elite is presently a Notified Body for the R&TTE Directive and is actively working to complete its submittal processes for status a Notified Body for the RE Directive.  We will keep clients posted on our progress toward this credential.

Link to the attached document from the REDCA for more detail on the status of EN 301 893.   ETSI Status on EN 301 893

Contact Steve Laya for more information on the changing status for this harmonized standard as well as  for other European wireless regulations.

Steve Laya
Elite Electronic Engineering
630-495-9770 x 119
sglaya@elitetest.com