"Packets" - Regulatory Updates for the Wireless Industry

Issue 15

American Certification Body

American Certification Body This Month’s Packets sponsored by:

Providing information and fielding questions for wireless manufacturers are some of the many activities that we perform at ACB. Packets provides an overview of just a small portion of the communiqués that run in and out of our office.


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Cooperation Between iNARTE and ACLASS

Last week a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed between the International Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers (iNARTE) and ACLASS, with the intent of providing a framework for the development of a certification program for lab staff that perform internal audits. The staff members have the responsibility of preparing their facilities for assessment and to assist in maintaining lab quality. Such persons will need to have a special mix of talents that will include not only an intimate knowledge of standards but also good interpersonal skills, good written and oral skills, and the ability to adapt from team player to team interrogator.

ACLASS and iNARTE will develop training classes, and define the skill sets that will form the body of knowledge against which the candidates will be examined.


iNARTE          ACLASS accreditation

Questions and Answers:

QUESTION: If a device uses the 5150-5250 MHz band, are only integrated antennas allowed, or can an external antenna also be used?

Does IC have any rules or restrictions on the antenna type in the 5150-5250MHz product? If yes, please indicate the section of the standard to follow?

ANSWER: There are restrictions on any antenna used on any Part 15 device. Please see 15.203 for antenna restrictions that apply to all part 15 devices. 15.203 states “An intentional radiator shall be designed to ensure that no antenna other than that furnished by the responsible party shall be used with the device. The use of a permanently attached antenna or of an antenna that uses a unique coupling to the intentional radiator shall be considered sufficient to comply with the provisions of this section. The manufacturer may design the unit so that a broken antenna can be replaced by the user, but the use of a standard antenna jack or electrical connector is prohibited. This requirement does not apply to carrier current devices or to devices operated under the provisions of §15.211, §15.213, §15.217, §15.219, or §15.221. Further, this requirement does not apply to intentional radiators that must be professionally installed, such as perimeter protection systems and some field disturbance sensors, or to other intentional radiators which, in accordance with §15.31(d), must be measured at the installation site. However, the installer shall be responsible for ensuring that the proper antenna is employed so that the limits in this part are not exceeded.”

Please also remember that the 5150-5250 MHz WiFi band is reserved for indoor use only per 15.407(e). Access points and client devices using this band cannot be used outdoors. If the professional installation option is selected, any external antenna must also observe this ‘indoor only’ restriction.
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QUESTION: I have a potential project that will use an SDIO 802.11 card along with a Compact Flash Bluetooth card. Is this considered a “Composite Device” and do we now have to file separate reports for the two radios?

ANSWER: According to FCC, they require want one unique test report per equipment code. For this product, a DTS and DSS reports are required. back to top...

QUESTION: Our customer has a modular GPS product which will be shipped to the USA. They want to know if this product needs to apply for a FCC ID?

ANSWER: A GPS which does not connect to anything else is only a receiver. Receivers in the GPS band operate at 1227.6 and 1575.42 MHz, which is above the 960 MHz cutoff per 15.101.
Receivers operating above 960MHz are only subject to the requirements of 15.5 which basically state that the device cannot cause interference and that it must accept any interference caused by a licensed radio station. This section also states that if the device does cause interference it cease operation upon notice from the FCC and cannot resume operation until the interference is resolved. back to top...

QUESTION: Is a wireless keyboard and mouse regulated under DoC or Certification?

ANSWER: All part15 “Intentional Radiators” must be certified regardless of final usage. The DoC process only applies to wired “Computer Peripherals” and other devices stated in 15.101. Use of the DoC route is also only available to be used under special circumstances. These include but are not limited to, having a USA contact point, the US having an appropriate MRA with the country where the testing has been performed.  back to top...

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Please note that the above represents, in most cases, technical opinions with justification in regulatory agency requirements, the particulars of the product must be considered. Thus, we welcome a call or email if you have any special needs or questions.