PTCRB certification FAQs
For PTCRB related questions and answers take a look here

What is PTCRB?

PTCRB provides a certification framework for GERAN (GSM), UTRAN (UMTS) and E-UTRAN (LTE) mobile devices and modules for usage on PTCRB operator networks.

It was established in 1997 by North American cellular network operators.

PTCRB certification ensures compliance with a set of cellular network standards. Without PTCRB certification, manufacturers run the risk that their devices are being blocked from North American networks.

For whom are the PTCRB certification rules mandatory?

Module manufacturers as well as end-product manufacturers, who implement PTCRB-certified modules, are obliged to follow the PTCRB certification processes.

PTCRB certification is applicable for devices operating in the 850, 1900 MHz bands for GSM, the FDD Bands II, IV, V for UMTS and all PTCRB relevant eFDD bands for LTE.

What is LTE Category M (Cat-M)?

LTE-M or Cat-M are shortened names for the LTE-MTC low power wide area (LPWA) technology standard published by 3GPP in Release 13. LTE Cat-M has been adopted by many cellular operators around the world providing connectivity for IoT services. Three of the 7layers laboratories were amongst the first eight labs which were accredited by PTCRB in September 2017 for Cat-M testing.

What are the benefits of LTE Category M?

LTE Category M devices are low cost, low power devices. They feature a long battery life and reduced service efforts due to lower maximum data rates. Mobile network operators all over the world have begun with the modification of their cellular networks and implementation of LTE Cat-M1 technology to support the roll-out of new, smart IoT services and devices.

What happens if I use a pre-certified module?

For North American markets, manufacturers who integrate a pre-certified module into their GSM/UMTS wireless M2M device, must submit their “end-product” in its final (production) form factor to a PTCRB-authorized test laboratory for testing & certification. Only a minimal amount of testing is requested in these cases, because the majority of the test cases have already been completed when the module was initially certified. These tests are carried out to ensure that the interfaces associated with the integration will meet performance requirements expected by the PTCRB.

Can I avoid problems during certification?

Pre-certification testing at 7layers enables you to avoid running into unforeseen difficulties during the official PTCRB Certification Processes. Pre-certification testing covers some Radiated Spurious Emissions (RSE) tests and some CTIA OTA tests. While such tests cannot detect every potential problem, they can give a higher degree of confidence before starting the official PTCRB Certification process. They can therefore prevent costly re-tests should failures be encountered during the official certification process.

Which is the best way to start?

7layers has been operating PTCRB-accredited laboratories for more than 15 years. You can rely on our comprehensive, up-to-date understanding of the PTCRB regulations combined with an extensive knowledge of the world’s leading wireless modules.