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 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 3 main areas of product certifications are as follows:

  • Mobile/smartphones
  • Modules
  • IoT/Integrated Devices

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 PCTEST. Testing involves an assessment of radio and protocol conformance characteristics, antenna performance (OTA), SIM provisioning, 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. 

How we help you get to market quickly

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 team of 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. 

Our continual investment in the latest test equipment and involvement in standards writing bodies ensures that we have the very latest 4G/LTE and 5G NR (FR1 and FR2) test equipment and expertise. As a primary PTCRB lab and a member of the Product Validation Group (PVG), and as 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

Advice in the early stage of product development 

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


Our team of over 9,000 Engaged Experts in North America, Europe, The Middle East, Australia, Asia and Africa are ready to help you.