3G/4G Handset/Modem/Customer Equipment Australian Communication and Media Authority Approval Requirements

Posted by: EMC Technologies
Posted on: 11/26/2019

ACMA RCM Certification Consultancy

Cellular approvals are technically very complex and involve all aspects of the ACMA regulations. To assist with ACMA RCM Certification, EMC Technologies offers an expert RCM consultancy service to guide you through the plethora of ACMA standards and regulations (See the list below). Our RCM compliance experts will determine all ACMA requirements, assess all documentation for ACMA compliance and certification purposes and provide a written report detailing any deficiencies and/or a gap analysis with recommendations for any top-up testing if required. Our service also includes a formal quotation detailing the steps required to complete the ACMA and ERAC EESS RCM certification process.

The ACMA Telecommunications Labelling Notice (TLN) for Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling Instrument 2015 (amended 2018) mandates that cellular devices must comply with the Telecommunications (Mobile Equipment Air Interface) Technical Standard 2018. All telecommunication devices 3G/4G or Satellite must comply with the general requirements of AS/CA S042.1:2018. WCDMA (3G) and LTE (4G) devices must also comply with AS/CA S042.4:2018. Compliance is largely a documentation gathering exercise and includes the following:

S042.1:2018 General

  • Testing for Emergency service access
  • Testing for Audio acoustic safety (if applicable)
  • Manufacturer’s Declaration of Conformity (DoC) for Mobile identity requirements

S042.4:2018 3G/4G Devices:

  • The cellular module test reports to FCC Part 22 Rules; or FCC/TCB Grant of Equipment Authorization based on FCC ID/manufacturer’s DoC.
  • The cellular module test reports to ETSI EN 301 908-1 & -2/-13; or EU-type examination by a Notified Body (NB)/manufacturer’s DoC, based on conformity assessment procedures described in the RED.
  • Manufacturer’s DoC stating compliance with mandatory requirements of the Core Protocol Specifications as per applicable ETSI Technical Standards.
  • Radiated Spurious Emissions Test Report on the final integrated composite product to FCC Part 22 and EN 301 908-1.

Once the assessment is complete, we will issue a NATA accredited report which is generally accepted as proof of compliance by the ACMA and the telecommunications industry.  

A Certification Body Statement (CBS) by an ACMA Certification Body is NOT mandatory but our NATA endorsed report may be used to obtain one.

Additional requirements as detailed below will also apply, including Safety, EMC and EMR/SAR.

  • Safety Requirements
  1. Customer Equipment (Handset/Modem)

The ACMA Telecommunications Labelling Notice (TLN) requirements mandate that Satellite/3G/4G devices must comply with the Telecommunications (Customer Equipment Safety) Technical Standard 2018 (AS/NZS 60950.1:2015 or AS/NZS 62368.1:2018). The Customer Equipment Safety is a high-risk standard and test reports must be NATA or equivalent endorsed.

For devices where the intended application is such that the ingress of water is possible, the electrical safety standards require an IP test report to IEC 60529:2004 to a declared IP rating.

  • Charger/Power Adapter- Electrical Safety, EMC and MEPS

Applicable standards: AS/NZS 60950.1:2015 – Safety of Information Technology Equipment or AS/NZS 62368.1:2018 – Audio/Video Information and Communication Technology Equipment.

An accredited test report (NATA or equivalent) to the Australian safety standard is required to obtain Electrical Authority approval and certification. It is recommended that an Australian approved (ERAC registered) OEM charger be used (must be sourced in Australia) to eliminate testing, certification and registration costs. Assuming an Australian approved plug and cord set is provided, the Local Supplier or importer into Australia must prepare and submit for Electrical Authority approval, application and certification, pay fees, obtain approval number and register the charger/adapter on the ERAC National Database.  

It is strongly recommended that an Australian approved charger be sourced in Australia so that the importer can avoid these expenses. An EMC report to AS/NZS CISPR 32 or EN 55032 is also required for the charger if sourced separately.

An external power supply used as a charger is required to meet the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and needs to be tested to AS/NZS 4665.1:2005 and registered in E3 (Equipment Energy Efficiency) Database.  

Your existing report to AS/NZS 60950.1:2015 or AS/NZS 62368.1:2018 will be suitable if the report of the testing is NATA (or equivalent) accredited. CB reports or reports to IEC 60950 or IEC 62368 that include Australian deviations are acceptable.

  • ACMA EMC Compliance

An EMC test report is required to AS/NZS CISPR 32:2015 or the European equivalent, EN 55032:2015.

  • ACMA EMR/SAR Compliance  

ACMA EMR Standard 2014 is the applicable standard for EMR/SAR compliance.

If the device antenna is >20 cm from the body, e.g. vehicle-mounted devices, compliance with ACMA EMR Standard 2014 requires an assessment of the RF exposure levels performed in accordance with AS/NZS 2772.2:2016. The CE Radio Equipment Directive (RED) EMF report and the FCC Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) reports will be useful.

If the device has an integral antenna and is normally used within 20 cm of the body, a NATA (or equivalent) Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) test report is required. SAR must be measured in accordance with method EN 62209-1 (at the ear) and EN 62209-2 (at the body). All bands and all radio transmitters must be assessed. If Satellite/3G/4G/Wi-Fi simultaneous operation is possible, SAR must be measured in simultaneous mode of operation. A CE RED SAR report must state compliance with the SAR requirements of the ACMA EMR Standard 2014. FCC SAR reports are not acceptable for ACMA compliance purposes.

Bluetooth, WiFi and NFC transmitters must comply with ACMA Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling – Devices) Notice 2014 as per the Short-Range Devices (SRD) standard, AS/NZS 4268:2017.

The European RED reports to EN 301 893 (5GHz Wi-Fi) or EN 300 328 (for Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi) can be used to show compliance with the ACMA Short Range Devices Standard. An EN 300 330 test report can be used to show compliance for NFC. The same reports used for CE RED compliance for CE marking for RED compliance will suffice if available.

  • Conclusion

The compliance requirements for Cellular Devices that connect to the Mobile Phone Network are complex and may involve all aspects of the ACMA technical regulations including EMC, Telecommunications, Electrical Safety, Radiocommunications, Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR/SAR) and the ERAC regulations for Chargers and Power Adapters. Navigating these complex technical regulations to ensure RCM compliance is fraught with risk and presents a daunting task, even to an experienced engineer. The use of EMC Technologies’ expert consulting services is a low-risk approach to regulatory compliance. You won’t find all the expertise that is needed under one roof anywhere else in Australia. Our NATA accreditations are your guarantee that our Expert Opinion meets ACMA regulatory requirements and help you achieve RCM Compliance with minimal risk and on time.