Wireless Certification

Industry Canada Product Certification Updates

Today’s Elite Expert is Dan Crowder, our Certification Department Supervisor and FCC/CE Mark Team Leader.  Read below to see what he has for us this week:

Some significant changes regarding product certification for Industry Canada are rapidly approaching. Let’s try to explain what these changes will mean to the applicants.

First off, the IC database is undergoing a major overhaul. The preliminary updates look promising including the capacity to allow for larger exhibit file sizes (the database now is limited to an exhibit size of 6MB). The downside is that the IC database will be shut down for two weeks while the software is updated. The dates the IC has provided are February 13, 2015, to March 2, 2015 (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ceb-bhst.nsf/eng/h_tt00063.html). During the shutdown, certification submissions as well as a few other services will be unavailable.

Once the new database has gone live, IC will publish an updated RSP-100 that will provide guidelines for the requirements of certification. Some of the terminologies will change and I will discuss some of the definitions a little now:

Hardware Version Identification Number (HVIN) – IMPORTANT: The HVIN will replace the existing Model Number. The HVIN is meant to be a reference to the technical specs of a model in a family. The HVIN will not require to be right beside the certification number on the product label –As long as it’s displayed somewhere on the product’s external surface. Many Manufacturers already print a number on the product surface to identify the specific hardware version of the product. IC wants the Manufacturer/Applicant to use their own hardware number and identify it in the HVIN field. IC also wants to avoid the unnecessary creation of a separate regulatory model number

Product Marketing Name (PMN) – Name used to identify certified product whether it’s final product or module. The Name/model used for advertising a product to consumers. The PMN may be identical for all models used in a family. If PMN is identical for all models, HVIN must be different with the exception: PMN and HVIN can be the same for multiple models in the family if FVIN is different (see a modification of the existing product in the scenarios below). The PMN can have a slight variance as long as all models respect the family rules. The PMN variation could play the same role as HVIN or FVIN (i.e. used to identify different specs of each model). The PMN variation is allowed with one HVIN when FVIN is different (or if PMN act as FVIN –i.e. if FVIN is not available)

Host Marketing Name (HMN) – Name used to identify the host in which a module being certified will be integrated. The host may or may not require separate certification. The host certification is only necessary if it includes transmitters that are not certified as modules. The HMN is not required for non-modular applications. The HMN is not required when the module being certified doesn’t require host involvement. The HMN is required when module certification requires assessment in the host. IC understands that due to the allowance of test reduction guidelines, not all possible host-module combinations will be captured

Firmware Version Identification Number (FVIN) – This number is the reference to the specific firmware of a model. IC is interested in the firmware number which affects the RF whether it’s the overall product firmware or the radio firmware. The FVIN is required to be on the external surface of the device if displayed electronically. IC understands that not all firmware numbers will be captured as firmware changes that do not affect RF will not be submitted. The FVIN must be provided when applicable. IC understands that some products don’t need firmware management and the manufacturer may never intend to change the firmware in a product and so the firmware number is not tracked. In such a case “N/A” can be entered as FVIN. New frequency bands will be allowed under firmware upgrade (C3PC). FVIN will be very important in such cases.

Here are a few different certification scenarios:

  1. Type 1-New Certification (one model):
  1. Option 1.1 Final product
    1. Rule 1.1.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before the product is on Canadian Market
    2. Rule 1.1.2 HMN = Not Applicable
    3. Rule 1.1.3 model HVIN = mandatory
    4. Rule 1.1.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing
  2. Option 1.2 Module
    1. Rule 1.2.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before the product is on Canadian Market if existing
    2. Rule 1.2.2 HMN = Mandatory if module compliance assessed in the host
    3. Rule 1.2.3 model HVIN = mandatory
    4. Rule 1.2.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing
  3. Type 2-Family new Certification (multiple models)
  4. Option 2.1 Final product (all models must be final product)
  1. Rule 2.1.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before the product is on Canadian Market
  2. Rule 2.1.2 HMN = Not Applicable
  3. Rule 2.1.3 model HVIN = mandatory (PMN and HVIN can never be both identicals for two models in the same family unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 2.1.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)
  5. Option 2.2 Module (all models must be modules)
  1. Rule 2.2.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before the product is on Canadian Market if PMN exists (If no PMN, “N/A” can be entered)
  2. Rule 2.2.2 HMN = Mandatory if module compliance is assessed in a host (LMA)
  3. Rule 2.2.3 model HVIN = mandatory (HVIN cannot be identical for two models if PMN is identical or PMN doesn’t exist unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 2.2.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)
  5. Type 3-Family to existing model(s) with or without hardware/firmware modifications (identical, Class II and/or Class III modification)
  6. Option 3.1 Final product (previous model(s) must be final product(s))
  1. Rule 3.1.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before the product is on Canadian Market
  2. Rule 3.1.2 HMN = Not Applicable
  3. Rule 3.1.3 model HVIN = mandatory (PMN and HVIN can never be both identicals for two models in the same family unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 3.1.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)
  5. Option 3.2 Module (previous model(s) must be module(s))
  1. Rule 3.2.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before the product is on Canadian Market if existing
  2. Rule 3.2.2 HMN = Mandatory if module compliance assessed in the host
  3. Rule 3.2.3 model HVIN = mandatory ((HVIN cannot be identical for two models if PMN is identical or PMN doesn’t exist unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 3.2.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)

This is just a small sample of the most common types of certification. I am sure that more detail about all the different scenarios will become available as the “go live” date approaches. I hope this helps to shed some light on the changes that are coming for certification approvals to Industry Canada.

Labels: Industry Canada; Product Certification; IC update; Dan Crowder

Your Questions, Our Answers: FCC Transition Plan for U-NII Devices

As some may have heard, the FCC has made some major changes to rule parts that pertain to U-NII (Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure) type devices. The specific rules and guidance documents can be found on the FCC website. The purpose of this blog is to provide answers to six specific questions that have been asked.

  1. What are the effective dates for the U-NII rules adopted by the Commission in ET Docket No. 13-49 (FCC 14-30)?
    1. The new U-NII rules in the Report and Order ET Docket No. 13-49 are effective from June 2, 2014. Applications for certification of new devices under the new U-NII rules can begin after the effective date. In adopting the revised rules, the Commission also established a transition time period during which devices may be approved under rules in effect prior to June 2, 2014 (“Old Rules”) or after the effective date (“New Rules”).
    2. Permissive Change: § 2.1043 addresses the conditions for Class II and Class III permissive changes for equipment that has not been modified through changes in hardware. Such changes are permitted by software only. KDB Publication 178919 provides some additional guidance for permissive changes. The following references to Class II permissive changes also include Class III permissive changes for SDR radios unless specifically noted.
  2. What is the transition period during which “Old Rules” can be used to show compliance?
    1. Applications for new devices can be filed under the “Old Rules” until June 2, 2015; after this date, applications for all new devices must be filed under the “New Rules”. Class II or Class III permissive changes for devices approved under the “Old Rules” may be filed under the “Old Rules” until June 2, 2016 (two years after the effective date of the rules). After June 2, 2016, all applications for a new device and permissive changes for previously approved devices must meet the “New Rules” for operation in all grant-listed U-NII sub-bands.
  3. How long can the devices approved, under the “Old Rules”, be marketed without a new application?
    1. Devices approved under the “Old Rules” may be marketed until June 2, 2016. All devices marketed sold, manufactured, imported, or newly installed in the USA must meet the “New Rules” after June 2, 2016. Devices already in use and installed are grandfathered.
  4. Are there different test compliance procedures under the “Old Rules” and the “New Rules”?
    1. Yes, for details see the appropriate KDB Publications. KDB Publication 905462 lists the appropriate guidance documents for devices subject to DFS requirements. KDB Publication 789033 provides guidance for EMC testing. KDB Publication 594280 provides guidance on software configuration control and security. In addition, appropriate compliance guidance should be followed for devices subject to RF exposure evaluation.
  5. How long will devices continue to be approved under the “Old Rules”?
    1. June 2, 2015, is the last day to file new FCC ID applications under the “Old Rules”. June 2, 2016, is the last day to file permissive change applications under the “Old Rules”. All devices marketed, imported, or sold after June 2, 2016, must meet the “New Rules”.
  6. Do we have to update filings for all operating devices?
    1. No, but devices approved under the “Old Rules” are subject to the transition requirements and cannot be marketed, manufactured, imported, sold, or newly installed after June 2, 2016. Devices already in use and installed are grandfathered.

With the changes that FCC has made for U-NII devices, I am sure that many other questions will come up. FCC has done a great job providing guidance to make the transition process as simple as possible.

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Redefining Radio Equipment & Spectrum Efficiency

With a productive meeting this past May in Dublin, the EU Commission’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee drafted several proposed changes to the Radio Equipment Directive proposal (dated 10/27/2012).  

4 things you need to know about R&TTE before considering the proposed changes:

  1. This report urges the revision of Directive 1999/5/EC on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity1 (R&TTE Directive) and is closely related to the implementation of the New Legislative Framework (NLF) adopted in 2008 as “the goods package”.
  2. The R&TTE Directive establishes a framework for putting on the market, free movement, and putting into service the EU of radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment.
  3. The Directive includes essential requirements for:
    1. The protection of health and safety
    2. The protection of electromagnetic compatibility
    3. The avoidance of harmful interference
  4. The recent unprecedented growth in mobile devices and wireless applications;
    1. Creates risks of interference between the various products
    2. Necessitates efficient use of the radio spectrum is essential
    3. (Referencing the Doc: PE510.528v01-00)

The main objectives of the draft proposal are:

  • To improve the level of compliance with the requirements in the Directive, and to increase the confidence of all stakeholders in the regulatory framework;
  • To clarify and simplify the Directive, including some limited adaptations of scope, so as to facilitate its application and eliminate the unnecessary burden for economic operators and public authorities.

Some important changes – from our NIST representative (R. Saar):

  1. Revised definition of “Radio Equipment” (and the Scope of the Directive):
    1. radio equipment means a product that intentionally emits or receives radio waves for communication or a product that must be completed with an accessory, such as an antenna, so as to emit or receive radio waves for communication
    2. Specifically, (1) receivers have been added back into the Scope, and (2) equipment that does not communicate has been taken out of the Scope.
  2. Deletion of text related to the proposed equipment registration system.

For further details on the review of the R&TTE Directive, please contact Dan Crowder (decrowder@elitetest.com) and consult the following link:  https://single-market-economy.ec.europa.eu/sectors/rtte/documents/legislation/review_en

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