Almost all electronic devices capable of emitting radio frequency (RF) energy are subject to the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), including the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 15 (commonly referred to as the FCC Part 15 rules).

FCC Part 15 sets limits on emissions from radio frequency devices. It’s designed to stop radio frequency emissions from electronic equipment from interfering with important signals used for communications.

If you’re manufacturing a device that’s capable of emitting RF energy, even if this isn’t needed for it to function, it’s very likely that your device is subject to the FCC Part 15 rules and requires testing and equipment authorization before it can be marketed in the United States.

We specialize in FCC testing and authorization for radio frequency devices and regularly assist electronics manufacturers with FCC Part 15 compliance.

Below, you can find a detailed description of FCC Part 15, as well as a full list of consumer and industrial device types that are subject to the Part 15 regulations. 

To talk to our team about FCC Part 15 testing and compliance, or to request a quote for testing your device, contact us online or call us at 866-540-5287. 

What is FCC Part 15?

FCC Part 15 is a federal regulation that sets limits on the amount of radio frequency emissions that electronic devices can produce. It covers a broad range of electronic devices, from phones and other consumer electronics to certain types of commercial and industrial equipment.

The FCC regulates these devices to prevent their use from affecting radio services, such as TV and radio, cellular services, Wi-Fi networks, aviation and maritime communications, and certain emergency services communication networks.

The FCC Part 15 regulations apply to all electronic devices that produce RF emissions. Devices that are designed specifically to use radio frequency are classified as intentional radiators by the FCC and subject to a process called FCC certification.

Devices that do not deliberately emit radio frequencies as radiated emissions, but may do so as a byproduct of their internal components or PCB layout, are classified as unintentional radiators

List of FCC Part 15 Devices

Below, you can find a detailed list of consumer and industrial devices that are subject to Part 15 rules. All of these device types need to be tested and receive FCC authorization to go on sale in the United States, either via a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity or FCC certification.

Intentional Radiators

Devices classified as intentional radiators deliberately emit RF signals for communication, such as phones and Wi-Fi equipment. Almost all wireless devices are classed as intentional radiators and require FCC certification to go to market in the United States.

Intentional radiator Part 15 devices include:

  • Smartphones. Smartphones contain multiple radio transmitters for cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth signals, all of which intentionally emit radio frequencies.
  • Tablets. Similar to smartphones, tablets are typically equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, both of which require intentional radio frequency emissions to function.
  • Other cellular phones. Other cellphones, including non-smart phones, are designed to emit cellular signals for voice and data communication.
  • Bluetooth devices. Devices such as headphones, speakers and wearables that make use of Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect with other equipment emit RF energy and are classified as intentional radiators by the FCC.
  • Laptops and desktop computers. Computers that include built-in Wi-Fi capabilities are designed to emit radio frequency signals, and are thus classified as intentional radiators and subject to FCC Part 15.
  • Smart TVs. While all TVs are subject to Part 15 regulations, only smart TVs that include Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity to access content or communicate with other devices are classified as intentional radiators.
  • Smart home devices. Smart thermostat, locks, lights and other devices use a variety of wireless communications technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee, and thus are typically classed as intentional radiators.
  • RF remote controls. All remote controls that use radio frequency signals to control TVs, home audio devices and other electronics are classified as intentional radiators.
  • Wi-Fi routers and other equipment. Wi-Fi routers, signal boosters and other wireless networking equipment make use of radio frequency technology to communicate.
  • Wireless microphones and audio devices. These devices convert audio into wireless radio signals, making use of the radio frequency spectrum.
  • Wireless security/alarm systems. Wireless security and/or alarm equipment uses the radio frequency spectrum to transit camera feeds, alerts and other information.
  • Remote garage door openers. Garage door openers that function by sending a radio signal are classified as intentional radiators.

                      Unintentional Radiators

                      Devices classified as unintentional radiators do not intentionally radiate radio frequency energy, but may use radio frequency signals internally or send radio signals to other equipment through conducting cabling. 

                      These devices generally have a shorter, less costly FCC testing and compliance process than intentional radiators, but are still FCC Part 15 devices that require equipment authorization.

                      Unintentional radiator Part 15 devices include:

                      • Computer monitors and peripherals. Computer monitors and non-wireless computer peripherals, such as printers, scanners and other devices, are typically classified by the FCC as unintentional radiators.
                      • Fluorescent lighting. Certain components used in fluorescent lighting can produce RF energy and electromagnetic interference, meaning these devices are subject to Part 15.
                      • Digital cameras. Digital cameras without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth communication technology are considered unintentional radiators, as they do not deliberately emit RF.
                      • Electrical power tools. Power tools that do not emit radio frequency energy deliberately are classified as unintentional radiators.
                      • Kitchen appliances. Most non-Bluetooth, non-Wi-Fi kitchen appliances and equipment, such as ovens, coffee machines and refrigerators, are unintentional radiators.
                      • Electric motors. Electric motors used in many household appliances, such as washing machines and refrigerators, can potentially emit electromagnetic interference.
                      • Microwaves. Microwave ovens use radio frequency waves internally to heat food. This can lead to “leaking” of RF energy that may cause interference with other devices.
                      • Other devices. Other devices that do not intentionally emit radio frequency energy are typically classified as unintentional radiators and are subject to FCC Part 15.

                              Talk to Our Team About FCC Part 15 Testing & Compliance

                              Compliance with FCC Part 15 is mandatory for all electronic devices that can potentially emit RF energy, including unintentional radiators. By law, devices need to comply with Part 15 in order to be marketed in the United States.

                              If your device is subject to FCC Part 15, our experienced team of engineers can help you carry out lab testing, verify that your device complies with FCC standards, and help you achieve FCC equipment authorization, granting you US market access.

                              To ask our team a question or request a free, no-obligation quote for testing your device, contact us online or call us at 866-540-5287.