North American mobile network operators created the PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) certification scheme to ensure devices meet a minimum set of requirements to prevent them from harming the network.


Element PTCRB Certification scheme

Element understands the challenges of bringing a cellular device to market and that additional steps are often required on top of regulatory approvals (such as FCC, ISED, CE, etc.). In the US, manufacturers must gain industry certification through the PTCRB program, managed and administered by CTIA. 


The PTCRB certification scheme certifies smartphones, laptops, modules, and IoT products such as wearables, routers, meters, payment systems, automotive, navigation, GPS, and telematics. Devices that incorporate PTCRB-certified modules are called 'Integrated Devices'.


The three main areas of product certifications are as follows:


Smartphones and Modules are considered in a similar way in which a stringent set of requirements are tested by a PTCRB-approved lab such as Element's Washington, DC laboratories. Testing involves an assessment of radio and protocol conformance characteristics, antenna performance (OTA), SIM provisioning, and battery life/safety, along with all device features and functionality, as well as checking that regulatory approval has already been obtained. 


IoT/Integrated Devices represent the majority of devices placed on the market today. These devices integrate a PTCRB 'approved' module and follow the PTCRB assessment requirements for devices using an approved module. Typically, testing would require a full assessment of the electrical SIM, radiated emissions, and antenna performance. 


Market access with Element PTCRB certification

We understand that you need to get to market quickly, and regulatory and industry approval is often an inevitable delay in the process – that's where we can help. Our leading experts can quickly identify the most appropriate route to conformity for you, often combining regulatory and PTCRB testing into a single test program that includes all FCC and PTCRB tests, thus minimizing delays and maximizing efficiencies. 


Meeting test standards with Element PTCRB certification

Our continual investment in the latest test equipment and involvement in standards writing bodies ensures we have the latest 4G/LTE and 5G NR (FR1 and FR2) test equipment and expertise. As a primary PTCRB lab, a member of the Product Validation Group (PVG), and a leading FCC Test Lab and TCB, we understand the technical requirements and can help to guide you through the process as smoothly and quickly as possible. We offer the following test services to complement the PTCRB certification process:

  • FCC/ISED approvals for North America
  • SAR/PD/RF exposure testing and certification
  • CE Marking for Europe and other regulatory approvals throughout the world
  • CTIA OTA Testing
  • Battery Life and safety testing and certification
  • Cybersecurity Testing and Certification


The Element advantage 

Element's engaged experts help you evaluate your product to reveal potential issues and advise you on any relevant standard requirements in the early stage of your product development to speed up time to market and save you time and money as a result. 


In addition to our broad range of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited testing services, Element is a Notified Body for the European Radio Equipment, EMC & ATEX Directives, an Approved Body for the UK Radio Equipment Regulation, EMC Regulation and Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulation, a Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) for the US, a Foreign Certification Body (FCB) for Canada and a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) for Japan. Element is also a certification body under the IECEE CB Scheme. 


For more information about our PTCRB Certification testing services or to speak to an expert, contact us today.


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Your Testing Partner Throughout the Product Life-Cycle 

Element’s experts support you throughout the whole product life-cycle of your connected devices from R&D, Testing & Certification, Advisory Services and Global Market Access. We ensure your products get to market on time, every time. 

Take a look at our services to learn how we can support you from R&D to reality to make tomorrow safer than today.

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