The American National Standard for Testing Unlicensed Wireless Devices
The standard was developed by the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee C63®, which is tasked with the development of definitions and methods of measurement of EMI and RF signal levels.
For many years, prior to ANSI C63.10, ANSI C63.4 had been the go to standard for FCC compliance testing; covering EMC and wireless compliance testing for the majority of FCC part 15 requirements. The ANSI standard would supplement, and eventually supplant the formal recommended procedures (MP-4 1983/1987) issued by the Office of Science and Technology, now known as the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET).
FCC Part 15 is broken down into multiple subparts. There are two primary subparts to FCC Part 15. Subpart B covers the control of unintentional radiation from digital devices such as your laptop, tablet PC, computer or other electronic devices. The other primary subpart is Subpart C covering unlicensed low power intentional radiators, devices that transmit radio frequency energy intentionally, usually for wireless communication of some type. Examples include WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth, and wireless remote controls and key fobs, to name a few. The remaining subparts in Part 15 address more specific spectrum utilization or interference concerns, generally related to new and emerging technology. New subparts are added as needed.
As the demand for low power transmitters steadily increased, new and innovative ways to utilize the spectrum were being developed at a rapid pace. The test methods used to assess compliance with the rules needed to keep pace. Special procedures were developed to handle specific emerging technology, FCC Knowledge Database articles would be published to provide guidance on appropriate methods. The amount of supplemental guidance became numerous and difficult to identify.
Realizing that the supplemental guidance should be consolidated and the need to address intentional radiators separate from digital devices, a new project was proposed that would branch off from ANSI C63.4. The new project would facilitate the consolidation and development of procedures for testing a wide variety of unlicensed wireless devices for compliance with the FCC Rules.
In March of 2006, C63® approved the establishment of the working group that would go on to develop ANSI C63.10 American National Standard for Testing Unlicensed Wireless Devices.
ANSI C63.10 owes its existence to Mr. Art Wall, who initially proposed the development, and ultimately won the committee approval necessary for the formation of the Working Group. Mr. Wall is principal consultant for Radio Regulatory Consultants, and retired Deputy Chief of the Federal Communications Commission Laboratory. One of Mr. Wall’s last duties as Deputy Chief was the development and oversight of the Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) program.
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