Bluetooth equipment is required to undergo specific homologation procedures prior to being allowed to be commercialised in Brazil. In this article we will present an overview of the homologation procedure for Bluetooth equipment required by Anatel, the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency.
Regulation for Bluetooth Equipment in Brazil
The Bluetooth standard for wireless communications has been consolidated as one of the most used technologies for the connection between multiple devices over a short range. Bluetooth transmitters are widely adopted for applications such as connecting mobile devices to accessories and other equipment, while some of its characteristics, such as upgradability and practicality, indicate that it will maintain its popularity in the following years.
Similar to other types of wireless communication technologies, Bluetooth-equipped products must be certified by local regulatory organisations prior to being allowed to be commercialised in major global markets. In the case of Brazil, Bluetooth equipment is required to undergo the homologation procedure established by Anatel, the country’s telecommunications agency. It involves the evaluation of legal aspects of its product supplier and laboratory tests of the product intended to be certified. The Anatel homologation process grants suppliers a specific seal and identification code to be included on each product, which indicates their compliance to local regulation for telecommunications.
Product manufacturers and distributors should note that, due to the technical specifications of this communication standard, all equipment with Bluetooth capabilities are manufactured as transceivers and are therefore required to be homologated. This includes battery-operated devices, such as smartphone accessories, or even devices with alternative power sources, such as the ones powered through USB ports. Suppliers of Bluetooth equipment that does not include an Anatel homologation seal and identification code can be subject to punitive measures, such as fines and removal of products from store shelves.
As mentioned in our article How to Obtain an Anatel Product Homologation, there are multiple parties involved in the homologation procedure, including Anatel, an OCD, or a Designated Certification Organisation, which will handle the certification process, and an accredited laboratory, which will perform the tests required for the equipment category. The homologation can be requested by any company established in Brazil, such as the manufacturer or local distributor of the equipment, or by a foreign organisation with legal representatives in the country.
Product suppliers can initiate the process by contacting an OCD such as Master Certifications, one of the leading organisations authorised to handle the homologation of Bluetooth equipment in Brazil. Some of the documents required for the start of the homologation process include the product's technical specifications, product photographs and general information regarding their supplier. Once these documents are approved, the OCD is responsible for requesting a number of product samples and assisting the product suppliers to choose an accredited laboratory to perform the tests required for the equipment category.
Testing requirements and Categorisation of Bluetooth equipment
Bluetooth transmitters are referred to by Anatel’s homologation guidelines as Restricted Radiation Equipment, and included in the specific category of frequency-hopping spread spectrum transceivers that operate within the frequencies of 2.40 GHz and 2.48 GHz. As in the case of other equipment categories, these products must be subject to a number of tests to determine their safety of use and resilience. Some of these required tests include the evaluation of:
- Resistance to electrical disturbances in power input port and telecommunication ports, if present in the equipment
- Resilience of signal to electromagnetic disturbances
- Resistance to electrical discharges conducted by air and by direct contact
- Immunity to reduction and temporary absence of power
- Protection against overheating, fire ignition and electric shocks
There are also specific requirements for the category of frequency-hopping restricted radiation equipment, which include a number of tests to determine the devices compliance with Bluetooth standards as well as its ability to interfere with other systems that operate at this frequency range. Some of these requirements include:
- Transmission frequencies of communication systems must be separated by a bandwidth of at least 25 kHz, or by the bandwidth of the hop channel at 20 dB, if that value is higher than 25 kHz
- On average, communication systems must make even use of all transmission frequencies they operate in
- Receptors of the communication system must accept signals within the same frequency range of the systems transmitters and must hop frequencies in synchronicity with the transmitted signals
- Communications systems must use at least 15 radio frequencies for data transmission
- The average use of a single communication frequency must not exceed 0.4 seconds, when measured during a period of 0.4 seconds multiplied by the number of frequencies the system is stated to operate in
- Systems can avoid or suppress transmissions at determinate frequency channels, if at least 15 remaining channels are utilised
- Systems that make use of less than 75 communication frequencies must not exceed peak transmission power of 125 mW
- Systems that make use of over 75 communication frequencies must not exceed peak transmission power of 1 W
Once the accredited laboratory performs all of the tests and assures the products compliance with the requirements listed above, the homologation procedure continues to the final steps.
Certificate of Conformity, Anatel Seal and Homologation Renewal
In the next stage of the homologation process, the OCD responsible for the product homologation receives a detailed report from the laboratory following the tests and provides the product supplier with a document known as a Certificate of Conformity. After receiving this certificate, suppliers must register their products on Anatel’s databases and send the agency documents such as proof of their legal status, product manuals and photographs. If all of these are approved, the supplier receives an Anatel seal and identification number that must be included on each product intended for commercialisation in Brazil.
The homologation of Restricted Radiation Equipment by Anatel must be renewed after a period of two years. The OCD is responsible for handling this procedure and to resolve if a new list of documents and round of laboratory tests are necessary. Renewed homologations must be registered on Anatel’s databases, and requires the same procedures listed for the first registration.
OCDs Accredited for the Homologation of Bluetooth Equipment
Company Master Certifications is one of the OCDs authorised by Anatel to handle the homologation of Bluetooth equipment, and is specialised in assisting foreign organisations with entering the Brazilian market under full compliance to the national regulatory standards.
Master Certifications has over 10 years of experience as a certification body for telecommunication products, and is entitled to certify multiple types of equipment, from mobile phones and components to radio transmitters, modems and signal amplifiers.