RF Equipment Authorizations

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Radio Frequency (RF) and Internet of Things (IoT) device connectivity raises regulatory, spectrum, security and consumer protection challenges

We help clients understand and keep up-to-date with the rapidly developing global legal framework for IoT connected devices and radio frequency (RF) devices, and develop strategies that integrate both traditional and new platforms to drive their competitive success.

Limited spectrum availability means radio frequency (RF) devices are required to be properly authorized (47 CFR part 2) prior to being marketed or imported into the United States.  The Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) administers the equipment authorization program under the authority delegated to it by the FCC.

This program is one of the principal ways the FCC ensures that RF devices used in the United States operate effectively without causing harmful interference and otherwise comply.  All RF devices subject to equipment authorization must comply with the FCC's technical requirements prior to importation or marketing. 

RF authorization requirements are designed to minimize the potential for harmful radio frequency interference and ensure equipment complies with RF exposure limits and hearing aid compatibility (HAC) with wireless handsets.

The FCC has two different approval procedures for equipment authorization – Certification and Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC).

The required procedure depends on the type of equipment being authorized as specified in the applicable rule part. In some instances, a device may have different functions resulting in the device being subject to more than one type of approval procedure.

Working with counsel to advise on the type of equipment authorization required, and ensure the authorization is granted by the FCC, will help avoid fines and other severe penalties.

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