Licensing is an appropriate tool for administrations to control the use of radio equipment and the efficient use of the frequency spectrum.
There is a general agreement that when the efficient use of the frequency spectrum is not at risk and as long as harmful interference is unlikely, the installation and use of radio equipment may be exempt from a general licence or an individual licence.
Short-range radiocommunication devices are generally exempt from individual licensing. However, exceptions may be made based on national regulations.
When radio equipment is subject to an exemption from individual licensing, generally speaking, anyone can buy, install, possess and use the radio equipment without any prior permission from the administration. Administrations will not register the individual equipment but the use of the equipment can be subject to national provisions. Furthermore, the sale and possession of some short-range radiocommunication equipment such as ultra low power active medical implant devices may be controlled by either the manufacturer or the national administration.
8.3 Mutual agreements between countries/regions
Administrations have in many cases found it beneficial and efficient to establish mutual agreements between countries/regions providing for the recognition by one country/region of the conformity test results of a recognized/accredited test laboratory in the other country/region.
The EU, inspired by this approach, has now established on a broader basis mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) between the EU on the one hand and the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on the other.
These MRAs enable manufacturers to have the conformity of their products assessed in accordance with the regulatory requirements of the relevant third country by appropriately designated laboratories, inspection bodies and conformity assessment bodies (CABs) in their own countries, hence reducing the costs of such assessments and the time needed to access markets.
The agreements comprise a framework agreement which establishes the mutual recognition principles and procedures, and a series of sectoral annexes which detail, for each sector, the scope in terms of products and operations, the respective legislation, and any specific procedures.
The MRA between the EU and the United States of America entered into force on 1 December 1998.
The MRA aims to avoid duplication of controls, increase transparency of procedures, and reduce time-to-market for products in six industrial sectors: telecommunications equipment, EMC, electrical safety, recreational craft, medicinal products, and medical devices. The Agreement should benefit manufacturers, traders and consumers.
8.3.2 MRAs – Canada
Canada has entered into MRAs with Korea, the EU, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Switzerland and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). By virtue of these agreements manufacturers in these countries will be able to have the conformity of their products assessed in line with Canadian regulatory requirements by appropriately designated laboratories. This reduces assessment costs and time to market, while Canadian manufacturers will benefit from the same advantages in respect of their market.
8.3.3 The MRAs with Australia and New Zealand
The MRAs between the EU and Australia and New Zealand entered into force on 1 January 1999.
The agreements provide for the reciprocal acceptance of the testing, certification and approval of products by each party against the regulatory requirements of the other party. Products can therefore be certified by recognized CABs in Europe to Australian and New Zealand requirements and then be placed on those markets without the need for any further approval procedures.
As long as the regulations in the countries/regions are not globally harmonized in the same way as the R&TTE Directive provides for EEA-wide harmonization, MRAs are the next best solution to facilitate trade between countries/regions for the benefit of manufacturers, suppliers and users.
Additional applications of SRDs continue to be developed and implemented. Annex 2 contains the technical parameters of several types of these additional applications. These so far are short-range radiocommunication devices operating in 57-64 GHz band for use for high speed data communications and RF level gauges.
1 SRDs operating in the 57-64 GHz band
Short-range radiocommunication devices transmitting in the 57-64 GHz oxygen absorption band will make use of large amounts of contiguous spectrum for very high speed data communications at rates of 100 Mbit/s to greater than 1 000 Mbit/s.
Applications may include digital video links, position sensors, short-range wireless point to multipoint data links, wireless local-area networks, and broadband wireless access for both fixed and mobile information appliances.
In many cases, the proposed applications will operate over the 57-64 GHz band with broadband or swept signals. Often, due to the very high data rates, or the large number of frequency channels required for a network, the entire 57-64 GHz spectrum will be used by a pair, or group, of
short range radiocommunication devices. Also, short-range position sensors used to generate accurate position information for machine tools operate with swept signals, could encompass the entire 57-64 GHz band.
The FCC developed a spectrum etiquette to govern operation of SRDs in the 57-64 GHz frequency band.
The United States of America etiquette consists of the following limits:
– Total transmitter output power limit 500 mW peak
Interference probability is most directly related to total transmitter output power.
– Total transmitter output power limit 500 mW (emission bandwidth/100 MHz) for emission bandwidth 100 MHz
Narrow-band transmitters can interfere with broadband communications if there is any overlap of frequencies. This provision protects broadband communicators.
– e.i.r.p. (transmitter output power) (antenna gain) 10 W average, 20 W peak
By limiting the intensity of focused beams, the maximum range over which interference can occur is limited to less than 1 km even for very narrow beams. The FCC specifies this radiated power limit as a power density of 18 W/cm2 measured at a distance of 3 m from the source.
In addition, the United States of America has imposed an additional interference mitigation requirement on 57 64 GHz SRDs. This requires that short-range radiocommunication transmitter broadcast identification at intervals of at least 1 s.
The FCC has dealt separately with fixed field disturbance sensors operating in the 61-61.5 GHz band. It has limited radiated power to an e.i.r.p. of 20 mW peak, which is equivalent to a power density of 18 nW/cm2 measured at a distance of 3 m from the source.
In Europe, SRD power limits in the band 61-61.5 GHz are: e.i.r.p. = 100 mW.