Last updated: 14 December 2017
Using a RF module that is already homologated with Anatel on the development of a telecommunications product is a great alternative to simplify its approval process with the agency.
Using a RF module that is already homologated with Anatel on the development of a telecommunications product is a great alternative to simplify its approval process with the agency. We will outline in this article what the advantages of using pre-approved modules are and how manufacturers of these modules can obtain these homologations.
The homologation of products in Brazil is a procedure required by the telecommunication agency Anatel, which is similar to the American Federal Communications Commission. Products that utilise radio communication are subjected to homologation to ensure that the product will not interfere with telecommunication services and follow local regulations.
Use of RF modules certified by Anatel in Brazil
The homologation procedure is normally conducted on the final product, but there are instances where only the RF module is submitted for laboratory testing. This happens, for example in household appliances like air conditioners, which have controlling systems based on wireless communications. In this case, there is no need to homologate your entire air conditioning unit with Anatel, only the RF module.
The use of pre-homologated RF modules have become popular as it saves time and money for the manufacturer on the development of the product. These modules will shorten the approval time of the final product with Anatel and significantly reduce the costs related to laboratory testing required for the product certification.
However, even if you are using a pre-homologated radio frequency module it is essential to obtain guidance from an OCD, which is a third party organisation that is in charge of handling homologation procedures with Anatel. Only the OCD can review the specifications of your product and verify how to properly certify it with the agency. Master Certificações is one of the most renowned OCDs in the market, having experience with handling homologation of RF modules and products that utilise these components.
Advantages and disadvantages of using pre-homologated RF modules
As previously mentioned, it is possible to utilise pre-homologated modules on the development stage of the product, and manufacturers use it on a variety of devices that range from IT to household products. RF modules can also be found in many of the typical IoT devices to allow connectivity to this type of equipment, and some examples are:
- Air conditioning systems controlled by IoT systems
- Printers with wireless capabilities
- Connected refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, or any other kitchen appliances
- Automation projects using Arduino or Raspberry Pi
- Robotics systems
- Connected alarms or other types of security IoT systems
There are many pre-homologated RF modules available in the market in different frequencies, so it is possible to find one to suit nearly all types of projects. Since homologation procedures can be rather complex and costly depending on the product, using a shortcut through a pre-certified pieces makes it possible for even small scale and artisanal projects to be properly homologated.
However using a pre-homologated module, means that the homologation of your product is dependent on a third party, which actually holds the homologation for the module. If the homologation expires or for some reason is cancelled, and the homologation holder does not renew it, you will consequently have issues with pushing through the approval of your product with Anatel.
How to obtain the homologation of your RF module
To homologate any telecommunication equipment such as a RF module or equipment that makes use of this type of module, you need to contact a company that can conduct the procedure on your behalf. Master Certificações, is one of the most highly regarded OCDs, fully accredited by Anatel to conduct homologations of radiofrequency modules on behalf of Brazilian and international companies.
The RF modules need to follow the restrict radiation equipment regulations, and are considered to be category II devices by Anatel, which includes products that are not directly intended for the final user. Other examples of RF modules that require homologation are 2G, 3G and 4G (LTE), which falls under category I devices.
RF modules need to be tested according to a testing scope determined by the OCD, which is set depending upon the module’s specifications. Anatel will require the OCD to assess the test results to verify if the module is compliant with the local regulations, which includes the validation of the following parameters:
- Compliance to the industry standards, for example Bluetooth, Wifi, Sigfox, Lora, GSM, WCDMA and LTE
- Power transmissions are within the levels determined by the regulation
- Immunity to electromagnetic disturbances
If the product complies with all the local regulations, the OCD will issue a conformity certificate, showing that the product is suitable to receive the homologation from Anatel. The OCD will submit this document to Anatel, which will then finalise the process by issuing the formal homologation. The homologation is valid for a period of two years for category II modules and for a period of one year for category I modules.
In case you need more details on the Anatel homologation procedure, Master Certificações engineers will be able to evaluate your product based on its specifications and conduct the entirety of the process, from determining the testing scope to obtention of the final homologation of your telecoms product.