ETSI GHz Band Standards

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As a result of the growing number of innovative devices equipped with wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee coming to market, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has updated two GHz band standards. Mandatory for market access in Europe, the standards updates are set to take effect in January 2015.

  • ETSI EN 300 328 V1.8.1- to improve usage and quality of data transmission equipment operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band
  • ETSI EN 301 893 V1.7.1- to prove adaptivity of devices operating in the 5 GHz ISM band to the most appropriate channels

Laird carries a full line of Bluetooth, RAMP, and Wi-Fi modules that are compliant with the current ETSI standard EN 300 328. Laird seeks CE (Europe) approval for all wireless modules to significantly decrease the burden on OEM developers.  In order to ensure clarity for all Laird customers:-

  • All Laird modules are fully tested and compliant with the current version 1.7.1 of the standard which expires on December 31, 2014.
  • All Laird Bluetooth radios are in the process of being tested and fully compliant with the newest version 1.8.1.

Updated test reports and Declaration of Conformity will be available upon request.

Laird’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth product line radios are currently going through any required retesting for these updated GHz band standards. Of the RAMP product line, the RM024 is the only product that needs to undergo testing. This is a result of an addition to the primary standard of the October 2012 Official Journal of Harmonized EU Standards. Laird’s FHSS modules must comply with this new requirement for entrance into the EU market. According to the official EU Commission website, “The equipment shall implement an adequate spectrum sharing mechanism in order to comply with the requirement specified in clause 4.3.5 of this version.” The efficiency of the various sharing mechanisms is assessed using clause 4.3.5. Clause 4.3.5 requires the implementation of a Medium Access Protocol, a mechanism designed to facilitate spectrum sharing with other devices in a wireless network. Previously it was not clearly defined as to what mechanisms were required to facilitate spectrum sharing. EN 300 328 V1.8.1.defines the spectrum sharing mechanisms and requires transmitters outputting more than +10 dBm EIRP to use Adaptive Frequency Hopping. This requirement does not apply for equipment with a maximum declared RF output power level of less than 10 dBm EIRP or for equipment operating in a mode where the RF output power is less than 10 dBm EIRP.

As a result, Laird’s certifications team has communicated with several different test houses and TCBs regarding this issue and confirmed that it is acceptable to continue selling the product under the V1.7.1 standard until January 1, 2015. However, products should be able to perform the spectrum sharing mechanisms referenced in V1.8.1. Laird’s RM024 does not have an Adaptive Frequency Hopping mode, so to comply with the Medium Access Protocol requirement Laird will turn the power down to the maximum allowable level for devices that do not implement a spectrum sharing mechanism. Refer to the New RM024 10mW for CE Regulated Countries to Replace EOL 50mW Modules document for detailed information on how this product line is affected. EN 300 328 V1.8.1 test reports for the new RM024 part numbers will be available no later than September 2014.

Laird 10- and 20- Series EN 300 328 v1.8.1 Updates

The 10- series and 20- series radios rely on the Broadcom BCM4318 chip. Due to this, these radios have issues with the CCA aspects of the spectrum sharing. Although Laird has received a declaration of Conformity for the BCM4318, this is the extent of the assistance we have received from Broadcom. Despite repeated requests to Broadcom over the past 12 months, we have not received test reports that support this compliance or firmware updates to fix the CCA issues.

Given the above, our customers with these products currently have the following options:

  • Accept Broadcom’s Declaration of Conformity for the BCM4318 chip
  • Lower the power level of the applicable radios to less than 10 mW (E.I.R.P)
  • Discontinue the sale of these radios to countries in which the ETSI standard applies

Laird 15- Series EN 300 328 v.1.8.1 Updates

The 15- series and 25- series radios rely on the Broadcom BCM4322 chip. Due to this, these radios have issues with the CCA aspects of spectrum sharing. Although we have received a Declaration of Conformity for the BCM4322, this is the extent of the assistance we have received from Broadcom. Despite repeated request to Broadcom over the past 12 months, we have not received the test reports that support this compliance or firmware updates to fix the CCA issues.

Given the above, our customers with these product currently have the following options:

  • Accept Broadcom’s Declaration of Conformity for the BCM4322 chip
  • Lower the power level of the applicable radios to less than 10 mW (E.I.R.P)
  • Turn off the N-rates
  • Discontinue the sale of these radios to counties in which this ETSI standard applies

Please note, the upcoming NDIS6 driver for the PE15N does adhere to the EN 300 328 v1.8.1 requirements. Upgrading to the NDIS6 driver is an additional option for customers currently running Windows 7.

Please visit the Embedded Wireless Solutions webpage for information regarding Laird’s product lines. For additional guidance, contact the wireless certifications group via wireless.certifications@lairdtech.com.

More information can also be found in the following official ETSI documents:

ETSI EN 300 328 V1.7.1 (2006-10)

Final draft ETSI EN 300 328 V1.8.1 (2012-04)

One Response to ETSI to Implement GHz Band Standards Updates

  1. […] RM024 power has been scaled back to the maximum allowable level, 10mW. Read our previous blog post, ETSI to Implement GHz Band Standards Updates, for additional […]

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