FCC Part 15 Requirements for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Modules/Devices

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are technologies that allow our devices to be interconnected, whether that be wireless earbuds, cellular phones, hands-free sets for our cars, tablets, computers, etc.  In the United States, products that contain Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi modules have two pathways towards FCC approval, and manufacturers are legally required to comply with one of these pathways, the details of which are found in CFR 47/Chapter 1/Subchapter A/Part 2/Subpart J.  

FCC Certification

The first (2.907 – Subpart J) is what is known as product certification where a finished product, Bluetooth module or Wi-Fi module, etc. may contain an unlicensed or uncertified module, or be, unlicensed or uncertified.  In this scenario, we would test the product, Bluetooth module, or Wi-Fi module to FCC Part 15 Subpart C subpart 15.247 or FCC Subpart C subpart 15.249 and produce test results.  These test reports would then go through what is called the TCB Review Process (Telecommunication Certification Body) where the reports and product details are reviewed and certification is granted (assuming a passing review), allowing the manufacturer to place an FCC ID on the finished product or Bluetooth module.  This ID must be visible on the product whether it is a label, etched on the exterior of the product, or electronically displayed.  See more on the FCC rules for labeling here.  For more information on Modular approval, requirements click here.

FCC Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity

The second (2.906 – Subpart J) is what is known as a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity.  In this scenario, a product may contain a pre-certified Bluetooth module, or Wi-Fi module, etc. that has been integrated into the host device without making any modifications to the module grant conditions (such as antenna type, gain, power, etc.).  Under those conditions, a manufacturer would test for Radiated and/or Conducted Emissions (depending on how the product is powered) under FCC Part 15 Subpart B, 15.107 and/or 15.109 to ensure that the product complies.  With a test report in hand and a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity, the manufacturer is not required to file with the FCC.  In this case, the manufacturer would need to place a label on the outside of the product that says it contains the FCC ID of the pre-certified wireless transmitter (i.e., Bluetooth or Wi-Fi module). 

F2 Labs is an expert in navigating this sometimes complicated, and confusing process.  Reach out to us today, so we can assist you in navigating the compliance maze and getting your product to the market as quickly, correctly, and as efficiently as possible.

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