Testing of radio communication equipment

Before any piece of radio communication equipment can be released to the European market, it must be CE-marked in accordance with the Radio Directive. The directive sets out a number of demands which are labelled as “essential requirements”.
Accredited testing of radio characteristics

One of the essential requirements in the Radio Directive that must be met in order to CE-mark radio equipment is that it ”…both effectively uses and supports the efficient use of radio spectrum in order to avoid harmful interference”. One way of meeting this requirement is to test the equipment in accordance with harmonised standards. ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, is the organisation responsible for developing these standards.

RISE (before SP) offers accredited radio testing according to the commonest European standards (ETSI) for both analogue and digital radio equipment over the 9 kHz–40 GHz frequency range.

The main purpose of testing radio equipment is to protect the radio spectrum from unnecessary interference. Most regions (including the EU, USA and Asia) have technical requirements that must be met before radio equipment can be sold or used.

Transmitter characteristics such as carrier wave frequency, power and signal purity must be measured and must either be stated in the manufacturer's own declaration of conformity or be approved by an authority. Different countries and regions often have different technical requirements for radio transmitters.

RISE can also help with characterisation of antennas for radio equipment, and can provide services such as antenna diagram measurement, efficiency measurement and antenna gain measurement.

RISE is approved for testing for the North American market

All radio transmitters for use on the North American market must be certified or type-approved by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or Industry Canada (IC). RISE is approved for FCC and IC testing of the commonest types of radio equipment over the frequency range 9 kHz–40 GHz.

RISE is the only organisation in Sweden that has been appointed by the FCC as a Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB). This means that we can carry out the certification of radio transmitters that the FCC requires and therefore also issue approvals for the American market. SP can also help with Canadian certification.

Radio equipment in Europe must comply with the Radio Directive

According to the European Radio Directive, radio equipment must meet the EMC requirements of the EMC Directive. One way of meeting this requirement is to test the equipment in accordance with harmonised standards.

ETSI develops the EMC standards for radio equipment. Its EN 301 489 standard series prescribes the requirements for various types of radio equipment. Although the series covers most types of radio equipment, there are some exceptions. There may be separate standards for such equipment.

Accredited EMC testing

EMC testing of radio transmitters consists of two parts: emission requirements, which specify limits on the generation of undesired emissions via cables and power supplies; and immunity requirements, which specify the required immunity of the radio equipment to interference.

RISE offers accredited EMC testing in accordance with the commonest parts of the ETSI EN 301 489 standard series and other international EMC standards. We also have long experience of EMC testing in specific fields, such as military equipment and vehicles.

EMC emission requirements outside Europe

International EMC requirements outside Europe generally only specify requirements for emission measurements. Most regions and countries base their EMC emission requirements on the CISPR standards. Immunity requirements are often not mandatory, but may be required in certain industries or activities, such as the telecommunications industry, hospitals and public administration. 

For the US market, EMC requirements consist only of emission measurement.

Electrical safety for the user – a requirement for all products

The Radio directive also includes requirements relating to the health and safety of the user. One of these is that the equipment must meet the requirements of the Low Voltage Directive. Under the Low Voltage Directive, certain kinds of equipment are exempt from the requirements if they operate at voltages below a certain level. However, the Radio Directive removes this exception, and this means that all radio equipment must be evaluated for electrical safety regardless of its voltage level.

The harmonised standards which apply for radio equipment are EN 60 950-1 and EN 60 215. RISE is accredited to both of these standards and can provide full electrical safety evaluation for radio equipment.

Electrical safety requirements for the North American market

Electrical safety requirements for the North American market are specified by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), among other bodies. Equipment used in workplaces is required to be safe and certified by a body recognised by OSHA. Other bodies that specify safety requirements can include insurance companies and local authorities. There are no voltage limits similar to those specified in the EU's Low Voltage Directive.

Take the opportunity to carry out electrical safety inspections for North America and the EU at the same time

We always recommend that our customers also carry out an electrical safety inspection for the North American market. If this check is done in conjunction with an inspection for the EU market, the additional cost is minimal. Additional charges are made for certification and manufacturing inspection. The IEC 60 950-1/UL 60 950-1 telecommunications product standard is very similar to the EU's EN 60 950-1 standard.

RISE is an accredited electrical safety laboratory for a range of product types. We offer CB certification and ETL certification for the USA/Canada thanks to our collaboration with Intertek Semko.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail info@ri.se

The RISE institutes SP, Innventia and Swedish ICT have merged in order to become a stronger research and innovation partner for businesses and society.
During 2017 sp.se will be one of several websites within RISE. Please visit ri.se for more information about RISE.

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