FAQ

Please, see the frequently asked questions considering wireless testing below. If your question is missing, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Radio Equipment
When is my product considered a radio product?

Radio equipment is defined in Article 2.1(1) of the RED as an electrical or electronic product, which intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radio determination, or an electrical or electronic product which must be completed with an accessory, such as antenna, to intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radio determination.

Testing radio equipment
I need to test my product. How does the process work?

 Contact us, our expert will ask you for more information about your testing needs. The next step is to send your product to Verkotan test laboratories:

 

Verkotan Oy

Elektroniikkatie 17

90590 Oulu, Finland.

 

We will do the needed tests and send the product back to you. After testing you will get the report to your email.

I want to conduct test by myself. Do you sell test equipment?

Verkotan is not a hardware vendor. Nevertheless, you can ask us about our obsolete testing gear for your R&D purposes.

Can I be present when Verkotan is testing my product?

Yes, you are welcome to our testing laboratory! Our experts are glad to tell you about the testing process. Naturally, we take care of the security and confidentiality of our customer’s products.

During the COVID-19 situation, we take all the needed actions to protect our staff and customers to the best of our abilities.

I sent a request for a quotation. When can I expect a response?

Thank you for requesting a quote. We will get back to you within 3 business days. 

CE, FCC and ISED markings
What are CE, FCC and ISED markings?

CE marking is required for many manufactured products before they can be sold in the European Economic Area. With CE marking a manufacturer can indicate that the product meets the necessary safety, health, and environmental protection requirements and can be sold within the European Economic Area. More about CE marking.  

Radio equipment sold in the US market must be authorized by FCC and radio equipment sold in Canada by ISED. When an electronic device has a CE, FCC, or ISED certificate, it means the product has been tested to comply with specific standards and it has been approved.

Can I get pre-compliance SAR testing already during product development?

Yes! We recommend conducting SAR testing in an early phase. SAR testing can be done in all stages during the product development cycle.

When SAR testing is performed in early stage, the product design can be developed towards the right direction right from the beginning. It can save some serious costs from the future. Even though the testing creates some costs during the product development phase, resolving the observed SAR issues in an early phase ensures more predictable certification costs and early access to the market.

SAR testing
What is Specific Absorption Rate SAR/RF exposure testing?

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) testing is one way to measure the RF exposure of a device. SAR testing measures the amount of radio frequency (RF) energy absorbed by a human or animal body. SAR testing is done to make sure that radio products are safe to use.

Read our SAR Testing – 5 things to consider -article to find more about SAR testing and Four ways to show RF exposure compliance -article to understand all the different methods for evaluating the RF exposure compliance of a device.

Is SAR/RF exposure testing mandatory for my product?

All radio products need RF exposure assessment to make sure they are safe to use. This assessment can be done by RF exposure evaluationEMF measurements, or SAR testing. 

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measures the amount of RF energy absorbed by a human or animal body. SAR testing must be done on all wireless devices that have radiating parts closer than 20 cm to the human body or head and have significant radiation power.

Devices with low power make an exception and the assessment can be done with RF exposure evaluation calculations, without SAR testing. In Europe, devices with the power lower than 20 mW, do not require SAR testing. In Canada and the USA, whether the device’s SAR value needs to be evaluated depends on the distance between the user and the device, the power, and the frequency, in which the product radiates. If a wireless device is a radio transmitter and receiver, it needs to be tested for SAR.

Read our Four ways to show RF exposure compliance -article to find out the best method to find out the SAR value of your device or contact us, we are happy to help you!

What information I need to provide for arranging SAR/RF exposure testing?

Before we can give you a precise offer, we would like to know a few things:

  • Which certifications are needed:
    • CE/FCC/ISED or something else
  • Size of the DUT
    • height x length x width
  • If possible, please provide an image of the device with antenna locations and dimensions.
  • What frequency bands and radio access technologies does the device support?
  • If the device supports WLAN, how many antennas configurations can be used at 2.4 GHz band and at 5 GHz band?
  • Can Bluetooth and WLAN work at the same time or are they using the same antenna?
  • Is the transmission continuous or does the DUT use a duty cycle?
  • Will DUT be used against an ear, for example when calling.
  • How is DUT intended to be used against the body; for example, displayed away from the body with a clip, hanging from a lanyard, can the DUT transmit when it is positioned in a pocket, etc. An illustration of a typical use case helps us to determine the testing needs.

Let us also know the times available for you and we will be in contact!

What samples do I need for SAR/RF exposure testing?

Watch our What is required for SAR testing? -video or read the info below.

  • Sample for conducted power testing (with cables or connectors), body-worn accessory if available, charger, additional batteries if batteries are replaceable, any changeable parts, e.g., different straps, covers, etc.
  • Unmodified sample for SAR testing, with test mode enabled if possible. If the sample runs out power quickly, then more samples are needed as samples need to be charged often.
  • A control software needs to be provided with a DUT in order to establish a connection to e.g., WLAN, BT, RFID. For testing of WLAN, a control SW that enables the selection of channel, output power, the data rate is needed. Also, the duty cycle needs to be adjusted close to 100%.
  • To control transmission for cellular devices, DUT needs to have a slot for SIM (to able to connect to tester) or have a control SW to establish the transmission.  If the product has E-SIM, it needs to be configured as test SIM or an external SIM slot needs to be added to the DUT.
  • The maximum output power + production tolerance information for each band of the product needs to be provided.
  • The DUT must be able to operate on full output power at a minimum of 20 minutes, depending on DUT size (large DUTs take longer testing times). The sample needs to transmit continuously on full power during the whole test, at least for 20 minutes.
When is the next available test slot for SAR testing?

It is important for us that our customers get the needed testing as soon as possible. Our SAR testing laboratory has a good capacity. Thus, tests are possible to be performed even in a short time frame.  Contact us and let us know your time requirements.

What is the price for SAR testing or RF exposure evaluation?

The price depends on the frequencies tested and the use cases, for example, is the device used close to a human body, etc. To get a precise offer, please see the question What information I need to provide for arranging SAR/ RF exposure testing? above, provide us with the required information and request a quote.

EMF testing
What is Electromagnetic Field (EMF) testing?

RF exposure compliance can be demonstrated by electromagnetic field (EMF) measurements. Electromagnetic field consists of electric fields (typically called E-field) and magnetic fields (typically called H-field). Electrical devices emit electromagnetic fields when they are being used. For RF exposure evaluation, EMF measurements are typically performed on low frequency devices. For example, wireless chargers require EMF testing.

There are different regional limits set by regulatory bodies for exposure to EMF. EMF testing is used to assess the levels of exposure and compare them to reference levels. Compliance with EMF requirements is obligatory in most markets including Europe, the US, and Canada.

What products can be EMF tested?

Verkotan can perform EMF tests to wireless chargers, vehicle immobilizers and NFC (near-field communication) devices. Typically, EMF testing is done when SAR testing is challenging to perform.

Can Verkotan measure EMF in my building or property?

Yes, we can! If your real estate company or city needs EMF measurements, please contact us, and request a quote.

 

OTA testing
What is OTA testing?

OTA (over-the-air) testing is used to evaluate the radiated performance and reliability of any wireless product in real life conditions. OTA testing measures the wireless performance of a product. Testing is done in a chamber in which the device under the test is placed. The real-life conditions are created artificially to see how the device responds in different situations.

To achieve the real-life conditions, the device under test (DUT) is set down in a test environment inside a test chamber. The test chamber is isolated from any outside signals. The goal is to verify the wireless performance and that the device responds as intended to the test conditions.

Read more about OTA testing process from our What is OTA testing? – Everything you need to know -article.

What products commonly require OTA testing?

OTA testing is not required for CE, FCC, or ISED certification, however, most network operators expect device manufacturers to conduct independent OTA testing. Poor OTA performance would result in poor data throughput in communication, potential access failure and poor audio quality.

OTA testing highlights potentially costly design errors, allows benchmarking between product variants, and secures meeting rigorous product development schedules.

These products include e.g.

  • Internet-of-things products
  • Smartphones
  • Portable computers
  • Utility management products
  • Automation/monitoring products
  • Fleet management systems
  • Robotics
  • Wearables
  • Mobile payment systems
  • Inventory management systems
  • Traffic control systems
  • Connected health products
  • Positioning systems (GNSS)
  • Vehicular wireless systems

 

Why OTA testing is important?

OTA testing is performed to be able to evaluate and verify the wireless system performance.

More specifically OTA testing:

  • Secures customer satisfaction and brand value
  • Highlights potentially costly design errors
  • Allows for benchmarking between product variants and competing products
  • Secures meeting rigorous product development schedules

Read more about the importance of OTA testing from our Wireless Performance and OTA testing – Why testing your wireless device is important? -article.

Can Verkotan test 5G active antennas?

Yes! Our OTA testing capabilities cover testing from 2G to 5G from user equipment to base station antennas.

What are TRP and TIS?

Total Radiated Power (TRP) and Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS) are metrics used to measure the wireless performance of a product.

Total Radiated Power measures the total overall antenna power radiated by the antenna. It is defined as the integral of the power transmitted in all the directions.

Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS), used by the CTIA, renamed to Total radiated sensitivity (TRS) within the 3GPP OTA specifications. The two terms are now used interchangeably. Total Isotropic Sensitivity is a measurement that signifies the reference sensitivity of the device under test averaged over all the directions.

When to perform an OTA test?

OTA testing can be done at any point of product development cycle.

How long does the testing take?

Testing time varies typically from half a day to a one week.

When is the next available test slot for OTA testing?

It is important for us that our customers get the needed testing as soon as possible. Our OTA testing laboratories have an extensive capacity thanks to our 5 different RF test chambers. Thus, tests are possible to be performed even in a short time frame.  Contact us and let us know your time requirements.

What is the price for OTA testing?

The price depends on the setup time, test execution in the test laboratory and test result reporting, possibly including AntView® aided test result analysis and visualisation of antenna patterns, for example for comparison and benchmarking purposes.

To get a precise offer, please fill the Request a quote for OTA testing -form or contact us.

What are Verkotan OTA test capabilities?

We provide

  • FR1 Active Antenna Testing Service according to 3GPP TS38.141-2, 6.2 radiated transmit power and 7.2 OTA sensitivity for base stations and ancillary equipment.
  • FR1 and FR2 3D antenna pattern testing for 5G beamforming antennas. The testing frequency for FR1 and FR2 ranges from 400MHz to 53GHz.
  • Mobile Device OTA Testing up to 5G
  • IoT OTA measurements to expedite the market entry of your product by testing and evaluating the performance of your IoT device.
  • Tailored test services. We can develop customized test solutions based on customer requirements.
How can I get better understanding of antenna pattern test results?

With the help of our in-house developed antenna pattern visualization tool AntView®! AntView® is a tool that makes analyzing, comparing, and storing antenna measurement results easier and more efficient. The key is the way how the data is visualized and organized.

AntView® enables fast antenna characteristics analysis. With AntView®, you can easily compare multiple antenna pattern measurement results and present them in easy-to-understand format with colours, graphs, and parameters, e.g., BASTA parameters.