Device Testing 101
3GPP, the wireless technology global standards body, has defined Long Term Evolution (LTE) bands in order to set standardized ranges of spectrum to provide stable specifications and definitions. This enables device manufacturers to produce equipment that will operate consistently across various markets. The 3GPP LTE standard:
- Reduces complexity
- Ensures the continuity of systems for the future
- Provides for cost reduction (CAPEX and OPEX)
- Avoids unnecessary fragmentation of technologies
- Allows for certainty when planning deployment roadmaps
In the U.S., the 900 MHz band (or LTE Band 8) has both an uplink (896-901 MHz) and downlink (935-940 MHz) channel with a frequency separation of 39 MHz. This differs from the frequency separation in the 3GPP standard LTE Band 8 of 45 MHz, also known as the Tx-Rx frequency offset. This frequency division duplex (FDD) is important for device and module manufacturers to keep in mind when developing equipment for the U.S. market.
While LTE Band 8 is the 6th most popular LTE band worldwide, the spectrum has previously only been deployed in the U.S. for narrowband use. However, after an FCC decision in 2020, Band 8 equipment can now be certified for broadband.
Anterix is the largest holder of 900 MHz licensed spectrum in the U.S. with nationwide coverage across the contiguous United States, Anterix is the largest holder of 900 MHz licensed spectrum in the U.S. with nationwide coverage across the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. Band 8 is ideal spectrum as a foundation for utilities to build their wireless strategy for grid modernization, meaning Anterix Active Ecosystem Program members will get in on the ground floor of building Band 8 systems for the U.S. market.
While thousands of devices already operate on Band 8 around the globe, all manufacturers will be required to follow a prescribed FCC certification process for equipment to be certified for use in the U.S.
The following steps are necessary to gain certification by the FCC:
- Determine FCC rules that apply
- Determine which Equipment Authorization Procedures are required
- Perform compliance testing at an authorized lab
- Obtain required approval
- Label products as required
The detailed steps to gain FCC certification can be found here: https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/laboratory-division/general/equipment-authorization
The rules governing 900 MHz broadband service are found in Title 47, Part 27, Subpart P. https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?node=pt47.2.27&rgn=div5#sp47.2.27.p
The good news is that we can offer Anterix Active Ecosystem Program members assistance and direction in getting products certified. Anterix has already helped several equipment manufacturers get FCC certification with the assistance of PCTest, an FCC authorized TCB (Telecommunication Certification Body).
AAs an FCC authorized testing laboratory, PCTest is an ideal partner to offer assistance in certification preparation. PCTest has already certified several devices for 900 MHz broadband, and can guide Active Ecosystem members through the process, easing the way for device certification when ready.
PCTEST performs LTE Conformance test requirements supporting RF, RRM and Protocol Conformance, in the 700 MHz Blocks, the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) Bands and all the 3GPP frequency bands worldwide. Testing is performed according to 3GPP standards for GCF and PTCRB approvals in addition to Carrier specific requirements.
PCTEST offers comprehensive turnkey solutions for:
- RF Conformance
- RRM Conformance
- Signaling Conformance
- Data Throughput/Data Retry
- OTA Radiated Performance
- Field Tests
- UICC (USIM-ISIM) Interaction
SIMPLIFYING THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS
Anterix has laid the groundwork to make FCC testing as efficient and simple as possible for Anterix Active Ecosystem members. By engaging with PCTEST, a leading FCC device testing and certification organization, the process of getting certifications issued is as straightforward as possible. This should lead to a more rapid delivery of a robust device ecosystem for utilities building PLTE networks on 900 MHz spectrum.
Let Anterix assist in getting started—please reach out for assistance today.
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