Testing devices with no performance requirements | ACMA

Testing devices with no performance requirements

Spectrum impact assessments give assurance that radiocommunications devices, for which there are no published equipment performance requirements, are suitable for Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) licensing purposes. Spectrum impact assessments are mainly designed to assess the potential for a radiocommunications device to cause interference to other users of the radiofrequency spectrum.

Testing requirements

Spectrum impact assessment is undertaken against criteria developed by the ACMA and can only be performed by the ACMA's Radiocommunications Compliance Laboratory. The ACMA Radiocommunications Compliance Laboratory is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and provides a range of radiocommunications testing and assessment services to industry and the general public.

If the ACMA thinks it necessary in order to issue a licence, it may, under section 101 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992, by written notice given to the applicant for a transmitter licence or a receiver licence, request the applicant to submit the device for testing. In such circumstances, testing would be undertaken by the ACMA Radiocommunications Compliance Laboratory, or a person authorised by the ACMA.

For information about testing radiocommunications devices covered under known equipment performance requirements, please refer to the information paper Testing radiocommunications devices against the ACMA equipment performance requirements.

What should be provided to have a device tested by the ACMA?

When applying to the ACMA Radiocommunications Compliance Laboratory for a spectrum impact assessment it is necessary to supply the following:

  1. a completed Application for radiocommunications compliance testing (form R200)

  2. a cheque for the appropriate assessment fee in Australian dollars made payable to the Receiver of Public Monies plus:

For analog speech equipment

  1. a representative sample of product to be assessed in a condition suitable for assessment with, where applicable, connections to the following readily accessible:

  2. operating instructions and any necessary service instructions

  3. a detailed list of the manufacturer's published performance specifications and

  4. any other ancillary items needed to assess the product, for example, interconnecting leads, power lead, software, and instructions.

Note: For receivers, the 'mute' must be either disabled, or be switchable, to allow low level radiofrequency receiver assessments to be undertaken.

For data equipment

  1. a representative sample of product(s) to be assessed in a condition suitable for assessment with, where applicable, connections to the following readily accessible:

  2. operating instructions and any necessary service instructions

  3. a detailed list of the manufacturer's published performance specifications and

  4. any other ancillary items needed to assess the product, for example, interconnecting leads, power lead, software, and instructions.

A transmitter which normally transmits intermittently for short periods of time must be configured in a manner where it is capable of transmitting continuously by the operation of a remote push to transmit button or some other manual actuation mechanism. The ability to transmit unmodulated carrier only must also be provided. Information about the 'duty cycle' to be used for assessment purposes must also be provided.

The above articles may be submitted to the:

ACMA Radiocommunications Compliance Laboratory
Level 44, Melbourne Central Tower
360 Elizabeth Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

The Postal Address is:

ACMA Radiocommunications Compliance Laboratory
PO Box 13112Law Courts
MELBOURNE VIC 8010.

Failure to supply the above articles at the time of application may delay the testing or assessment of the device.

Confidentiality

All information relating to radiocommunications equipment tested by the ACMA, is treated as 'commercial in confidence', and will not be disclosed to any third party, without the written permission of the supplier of the equipment being assessed, unless required by law.

Test criteria

As indicated earlier, testing is undertaken against criteria developed by the ACMA. These criteria will depend on factors such as the proposed use of the equipment, type of modulation and frequency band proposed.

For data equipment operating in the frequency range 29.7 MHz - 1 GHz, the ACMA has developed criteria based on relevant elements of the analogue speech standard applicable to this frequency range (AS/NZS 4295:2004)1. These elements are:

  1. frequency error

  2. carrier power

  3. maximum frequency deviation (note: measured with input to the modulator of a data train at the maximum operating level and data rate as prescribed by the manufacturer. The pattern of the data shall be that which gives worst case frequency deviation and occupied bandwidth results)

  4. adjacent channel power of -60dBc/-70dBc ratio as determined for the Standards Australia data standard AS/NZS 4768.1:2009. (Note: measured using modulation conditions as for maximum frequency deviation tests)

  5. transmitter transient performance

  6. transmitter spurious emissions

  7. receiver conducted spurious signals.

1 Please note that AS/NZS 4295:2004 is an industry standard. The mandatory performance standard for anaolgue speech (angle modulated) equipment designed or intended to operate in 29.7-520 MHz land mobile and fixed services bands is the Radiocommunications (Analogue Speech (Angle Modulated) Equiipment) Standard 2005. The mandatory standard adopts the industry standard with specified modifications.

How long does evaluation take?

Detailed technical evaluation of equipment takes time. Importers and potential operators should provide relevant information and material to the ACMA well in advance of launch dates or expected start dates.

Equipment acceptance

Following successful testing, the applicant is issued with a letter of 'acceptance for licensing purposes' which may be used to confirm to prospective purchasers that the equipment is accepted by the ACMA for use.

Spectrum availability

The availability of spectrum for the purposes of licensing is a separate issue to equipment testing. While equipment may comply with mandatory standards or a spectrum impact assessment, spectrum may not always be available at a particular location.

Contact

ACMA’s Radiocommunications Compliance Laboratory
Telephone: (03) 9963 6800
International: +613 9963 6800
Facsimile: (03) 9963 6899
International: +613 9963 6899
Email: melrcl@acma.gov.au

Last updated: 06 July 2016