Logo of the United States Federal Communications Commission, used on their website and some publications since the early 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Knowledge Database section of the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) web site has a significant number of new publications today. The new updates impact technical requirements such as software defined radios, RF safety and Digital Transmission Systems (DTS) measurement procedures. Other updates cover administrative issues as well as guidance and policy for Telecommunication Certification Bodies.
While the FCC continually updates these policies and procedures as needed, we tend to see the most significant changes going into the spring and fall seasons. Part of the reason for this is the TCB council holds regular training workshops in the spring and fall. The FCC is generally in attendance, and uses the opportunity to update the community on policy matters and technical issues. The training workshops become sort of a deadline for publication in this way. We also see a number of updates just following the training workshops as questions and comments begin to hit the FCC.
You can visit the OET KDB site at https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/kdb/index.cfm. Below is a categorized summary with excerpts of the updates for your convenience. If these issues are important to you, I suggest regular checks of the FCC KDB publications to stay current with the rules.
a. Permissive Change Policy
i. 10/24/2012: D01 Permissive Change Policy v05r02 has been changed to 178919 D01 Permissive Change Policy v05r03 to allow TCBs to approve third party software upgrades as PBA. Permissive changes and RF exposure considerations has been changed to reference the published RF exposure KDB procedures.
b. Permit But Ask List
i. 10/24/2012: 388624 D02 Permit But Ask List v11 replaces 388624 D02 Permit But Ask List v10 Several changes have been made to the document to clarify the types of devices subject to the PBA review process.
c. Software Defined Radio Application Guide
i. 10/24/2012 442812 D01 SDR Apps Guide v02 has been changed to 442812 D01 SDR Apps Guide v02r01. Removed the requirement for non-SDR to file a Class II permissive change directly with the Commission.
d. TCB Exclusion List
i. 10/25/2011 628591 D01 TCB Exclusion List v12r02 replaces 628591 D01 TCB Exclusion List v12r01. Removed Access Broadband over Power Line (BPL) devices (Part 15 Subpart G);
ii. 10/24/2012 D01 TCB Exclusion List v13 replaces 628591 D01 TCB Exclusion List v12r02. Clarified requirements for devices subject to RF Exposure requirements; removed non-SDR Class II permissive change applications for certain types of devices.
e. SAR Listings on Equipment Authorization Grants
i. 10/24/2012: 690783 D01 SAR Listings on Grants v01r01 has been changed to 690783 D01 SAR Listings on Grants v01r02 to reflect changes made to RF exposure guidance.
a. Mobile and Portable Devices RF Exposure Procedures and Equipment Authorization Policies
i. 10/24/2012: 447498 D01 General RF Exposure Guidance v04 has been changed to 447498 D01 General RF Exposure Guidance v05. The new version (v05) is a major revision to version 04.
b. Guidance for Performing Compliance Measurements on Digital Transmission Systems (DTS) Operating Under §15.247
i. 10/04/2012: 558074 D01 DTS Meas Guidance v01 has been changed to 558074 D01 DTS Meas Guidance v02. V02 is a major change to the v01 guidance with additional measurement options.
c. Restrictions on Software Configuration for devices not approved as Software Defined Radios
i. 10/24/2012 Publication: 594280 D01 Software Configuration Control v01r01 has been changed to 594280 D01 Software Configuration Control v01r02 Removed for Non SDR the requirement to file a Class II permissive change directly with the Commission.
d. SAR Evaluation Considerations for Laptop, Notebook, Netbook and Tablet Computers
i. 10/24/2012: 16217 D04 SAR for laptop and tablets v01 replaced previous guidance:616217 D01 SAR for Laptop with Screen Ant v01r01, 616217 D02 SAR Policy Laptop with Screen Ant v01r01and 16217 D03 SAR Supp Note and Netbook Laptop v01
e. SAR Evaluation Considerations for Wireless Handsets
i. 10/24/2012: 6648474 D04 SAR Handsets Multi Xmiter and Ant v01 replaces 48474 D01 SAR Handsets Multi Xmiter and Ant v01r05 and 648474 D02 SAR Polcy Handsts Multi Xmiter Ant v01r01
f. Emissions Testing of Transmitters with Multiple Outputs in the Same Band (e.g., MIMO, Smart Antenna, etc)
i. 10/25/2011: 662911 D01 Multiple Transmitter Output v01 changed to 662911 D01 Multiple Transmitter Output v01r01 to add references to new attachment 662911 D02 in the second paragraph of the document and in the INTRODUCTION section. The referenced attachment identifies an exception to the requirement for summing emissions across outputs in certain cases involving devices that drive cross-polarized antennas and identifies the need to sum radiated emissions across polarizations in certain other cases.
g. MIMO with Cross-Polarized Antenna
i. NEW POLICY AND PROCEDURE
h. Guidelines for Compliance Testing of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) Devices Part 15, Subpart E
i. Too many to list, see KDB
i. SAR Evaluation Considerations for LTE Devices
i. 10/24/2012 941225 D05 SAR for LTE Devices v02 replaces 941225 D05 SAR for LTE Devices v01. Version v02 represents a major revision to version v01.