New Part 15 Rules Allow Modular Unlicensed Transmitter Devices

April 27, 2007
Equipment manufacturers will have an easier time incorporating wireless devices in their products. Last week the FCC adopted Part 15 rules that allow the use of split modular RF devices in equipment without requiring new certification each time the devices are used in different products.

The FCC Second Report and Order (FCC 07-56) amending the rules states, "By this action, we amend our rules to provide for more efficient equipment authorization of both existing modular transmitter devices and emerging partitioned (or 'split') modular transmitter devices. These rule changes will benefit manufacturers by allowing greater flexibility in certifying equipment and providing relief from the need to obtain a new equipment authorization each time the same transmitter is installed in a different final product. The rule changes will also enable manufacturers to develop more flexible and more advanced unlicensed transmitter technologies. We further find that modular transmitter devices authorized in accordance with the revised equipment authorization procedures will not pose any increased risk of interference to other radio operations."

Manufacturers of split modular transmitters must ensure that only control elements and RF front-end components that have been approved together are capable of operating together. The FCC rules say manufacturers may use methods such as coding in hardware and electronic signals to meet these requirements and must describe the methods in the application for equipment authorization.

The revised rules are available in the Second Report and Order (FCC 07-56), in the matter of Modifications of Parts 2 and 15 of the commission's rules for unlicensed devices and equipment approval--ET Docket 03-201.

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