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The Radio Equipment Goal is Regulatory Approval

By Michael Derby, Technical Director for Connected Technologies

Regulatory approval is the ultimate goal of most equipment manufacturers.

Many manufacturers think of product testing as the significant step to market access, but most of that testing is performed to get the equipment authorized for use in the intended country, for regulatory approval.

It’s important to develop a good product that works correctly and will please the end-user, but making an exciting product is pointless if you are unable to put it in the hands of your customers.

At Element, we perform a wide range of equipment testing including radio performance, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), RF exposure SAR, over the air (OTA) performance, and product safety. Some of our testing is for product development, at the R&D stage, and some tests are for the final evaluation, but generally, the goal for a manufacturer is to place a product on the market.

The topic of regulatory approval is often seen as secondary to testing, a final hurdle at the end of the important part because the approval process is typically cheap and quick in comparison to the testing stage. But for most companies, the time and money spent testing is for one purpose; to gain regulatory approval, sell the product to customers, and turn the innovation into reality.

To place a piece of equipment onto the market, regulatory approval for the country or region is required. There are many reasons why we have regulatory approval. Country authorities typically need to consider the safety of users, the protection of their property and data, the reduction of interference between electronic devices in their radio spectrum, and confidence that their citizens and businesses have access to good quality products. There is also protection of national interest in the face of international trade.

Regulatory approvals take many names and procedures. There are certifications, declarations of conformity, supplier declarations, and type approvals. All of these are forms of equipment authorization for regulatory approval.

In this article, we look at the authorization of radio equipment for some of the world’s main market regions. We will look at radio equipment for consumer and business purposes, in domestic, and industrial environments. This includes the radios in your home, office, car, in your hands, and on your body. Fill in the form below or contact our experts for more information.

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Michael Derby, Technical Director

Michael Derby is a Technical Director at Element Materials in the Connected Technologies group, supporting manufacturers and colleagues in the test and approval of radio enabled equipment.

He has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, with testing and approvals roles, including EMC, Radio performance, and RF Exposure SAR.

Michael also provides training and technical support to the industry through advisory projects and seminar courses. Within Element, Michael is a Certification Body for the USA and Canada; an EU Notified Body for the RED and a UK Approved Body for the RER.

Michael is an active member of the REDCA (RED Compliance Association) and TCB Council; acting as the liaison between the two organizations and author of many technical guidance documents within the industry.

Michael is the technical secretary of the EMC Test Lab Association. His past experience includes product development, testing and certification for manufacturers and test laboratories. He provides worldwide services to customers and colleagues from his office in the Hampshire area of the UK.

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