Certain categories of telecommunication antennas are required to undergo specific homologation procedures established by Anatel, the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency. In this article, we will present an overview of the homologation process for antennas in Brazil.
Regulation for Telecommunication Antennas in Brazil
Data transmission antennas are employed for a wide range of applications that include broadcast of radio and television signals and the operation of private and public telecommunication infrastructures. Similar to other categories of telecommunication products, antennas are required to be certificated prior to being deployed in major global territories, in order to assure their correct operation and that they will not interfere with other communication systems.
In Brazil, the homologation procedures for antennas are established by Anatel, the country’s regulatory telecommunications agency. Not all types of antennas must be homologated by Anatel, and those that are required to undergo this procedure must hold a specific seal and identification code provided by the agency, which indicate their compliance to Brazilian regulations.
Any company that intends to make use of or commercialise telecommunication antennas in Brazilian territory should verify if their products are required to be homologated by Anatel. The usage or commercialisation of regulated telecommunication products that do not present the Anatel seal and identification codes can lead companies to being subject to fines and other punitive measures.
Categories of Antennas Required to Undergo Homologation
As a general rule, signal reception antennas are not required to be homologated by Anatel, with the exception of satellite signal reception antennas with high power gain. Most of the signal transmission antennas are required to be homologated, with the exception of the ones that operate within a certain frequency range and antennas with low power gain. Anatel documentation categorises telecommunication antennas required to be homologated into three groups:
- Earth Station Antennas: Antennas that are used for the reception or transmission of satellite signals, such as the ones designed for the reception of television signals. In this category, only antennas with power gain exceeding 25 dBi are required to be homologated
- Point to Point Antennas: Antennas that are designed for point to point transmissions, such as the ones employed in private long-range wireless networks. In this category, only antennas that operate within the frequencies of 138 MHz to 60 GHz and 71 GHz to 86 Ghz and with power gain exceeding 8 dBi are required to be homologated
- Point to Area Antennas: Antennas that are designed for the spread of telecommunication signals over a determinate area, such as the ones used in the infrastructure of mobile phone networks. In this category, only antennas that operate within the frequencies of 138 MHz to 40.5 GHz and with power gain exceeding 8.5 dBi are required to be homologated. In the case of omnidirectional antennas, only the ones with power gain of over 9.5 dBi are required to be homologated
The homologation procedure for antennas in these three categories is similar, and special requirements for each category are highlighted further in this article. Product suppliers should note that antennas that are built into transmission systems and antennas that are intended to be used in the operation of regulated telecommunication services may be subject to certification procedures not mentioned in this article.
Summary of the Homologation Process
As mentioned in our article How to Obtain an Anatel Product Homologation, multiple entities are involved in the homologation procedure established by Anatel. The main of which are OCDs, or third-party organisations responsible for the product certification process. An example of OCD is Brazilian company Master Certificações, one of the organisations accredited by Anatel to provide certification services for all categories of antennas listed in this article. Other organisations involved in the homologation process are accredited laboratories, which are responsible for testing the products and verifying their compliance to Anatel’s technical standards.
Suppliers of parabolic antennas of Ka and Ku bandsare advised to pre-test radiation diagrams in polar and cross-polar radiation, according to Anatel standards, prior to the start of the certification process, as these results will be required during the product’s homologation.
At the start of the homologation process, product suppliers must contact an OCD and send a list of documents and information related to their legal status and the products’ technical specifications. Suppliers of the three categories of antennas mentioned in this article must also send OCDs a specific declaration that attests the products resistance to adverse wind conditions.
Additionally, suppliers of point to point and point to area antennas are required to send documents with specific technical details of their products, including the antenna’s power gain, radiation pattern envelope and information regarding their resistance to other adverse weather conditions. During this stage of the homologation process, Anatel requires suppliers of these two categories of antennas to send the OCD a spreadsheet file with extensive data regarding the antennas’ radiation patterns, which must be formatted according to the strict specifications from the agency.
Once these documents are approved, the OCD requests a number of product samples to be sent to evaluation at a designated laboratory. The testing requirements for each category of telecommunication antennas include the measurement of the following specifications:
- Power gain
- Radiation patterns for co-polar and crossed polarisation
- Return loss
- Insertion loss
When product suppliers opt to homologate multiple antennas that belong to a single product family, only the antennas with the least power gain are required to be tested in the laboratories. In this case, the product supplier must send the OCD a declaration that the other products are compliant to the Anatel standards for electrical and operational aspects.
Registration at Anatel Databases and Homologation Renewal
Once the tests are conducted, the OCD receives a detailed report from the laboratory and provides the product supplier a Certificate of Conformity, or a document that attests the products compliance to Brazilian standards for telecommunications.
After receiving the certificate, the supplier must register their products on Anatel’s databases, which requires the emission of a new list of documents. These include legal information of the product supplier and product photographs and manuals. At this stage in the homologation process, suppliers of earth station antennas must send Anatel a spreadsheet file that includes detailed data regarding the antennas radiation pattern envelope, that must be formatted within specific parameters established by the agency.
Once these documents are received and approved by Anatel, the product supplier is granted a special seal and identification code for the homologated antennas. The homologation of antennas must be renewed after a period of two years, and for this process the product supplier must contact an OCD and check if new laboratory tests or certifications must be conducted. At the renewal of homologations, product suppliers must register their equipment on Anatel’s databases and send the Agency the same list of documents and information required during the first homologation.
OCDs Accredited to Certify Telecommunication Antennas
Suppliers from around the world can contact OCD Master Certifications and ensure that their products will reach the Brazilian market under full compliance to the country’s telecommunications regulation.
Master Certifications is accredited by Anatel to handle the homologation of over 100 types of telecommunication products, and is specialised in assisting foreign organisations with undergoing the certification procedures specific to Brazil and other major markets in Latin America.