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Making Devices FCC Part 15.407 Legal When Upgrading to 802.11a/n/ac (Wi-Fi 5) at 5 GHz

Why is FCC part 15.407 compliance an important part of your Wi-Fi enabled device’s commercial success? If your device is a dual-band unit offering 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency band transmission, these requirements likely apply to you. Compliance Testing, LLC can help.

FCC Compliance Testing Keeps the Airwaves Cleaner with Less Interference

FCC compliance testing for Part 15.407 and related standards helps to manage the radio frequency (RF) emissions of Wi-Fi devices and keep interference to a minimum. It’s essential for 5 GHz Wi-Fi device sales in the United States, and major retailer has introduced requirements in the second quarter of 2021 that will restrict electronics they sell to those that have the proper FCC documentation. FCC penalties for selling devices without proper certification are significant. In some cases, certain “unintentional radiator” devices can be sold based on a “supplier declaration of conformity,” but if tested in the future and found to be non-compliant, trouble can follow.

Inheriting Certification of Past Designs or Certified Modules

If you’re launching a dual band Wi-Fi device, there are important considerations regarding FCC testing if you previously underwent testing for single-band 2.4 GHz units, or are using certified Wi-Fi modules. If your equipment transmits Wi-Fi signals in the 5 GHz band, such as 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5, your existing certification and testing need to be updated for the new frequency band. Your device should also be tested as an “unintentional radiator” to ensure that any RF spectrum emitted by your unit in addition to the transmitted signals are within limits. Additional device testing will be needed for future devices employing Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7, which add further frequency bands and signaling techniques to the Wi-Fi family.

Frequency and Power Output Standards Apply

Both transmitted RF energy and any radiated by electronics in the unit must meet the relevant RF emissions standards. Power output requirements go beyond the transmitter RF wattage, and include the gain of directional and omnidirectional antennas. This can make ensuring that the device is actually compliant an engineering challenge, especially with newer antenna technology such as MIMO. Use of pre-certified Wi-Fi modules can help add dual band functionality quickly, but still requires testing of the device as a whole to ensure that it meets FCC emissions requirements.

Global Certification for Global Market Compliance

FCC certification is necessary for Wi-Fi devices sold in the USA, with other similar requirements present in other countries including Canada, Japan, and European countries. Testing organizations such as Compliance Testing, LLC that offer certification to international standards can help simplify the process of bringing a product to the global market.

Combining Testing Skill with Engineering Expertise at Compliance Testing LLC

Compliance Testing LLC, a firm providing testing services and related consulting since 1963, consists of expert engineers who understand both advanced RF concepts and legal requirements. Our team can help you avoid penalties for transmitter problems and unintentional radiation issues that arise when your product hits the market. We can help you understand how to best engineer your product to meet FCC Part 15.407 standards, and provide worldwide testing resources for products intended for a global market. Contact us to get your device tested and certified to FCC standards.