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Carrier Certification Testing: Avoid Last-Minute Delays and First-Test Failures

Digi International Digi International
February 21, 2017
With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its expanded communications requirements, comes the increase of IoT devices designed and manufactured for use on cellular networks. To keep the wide availability of cellular WANs under control combined with the demand for IoT solutions, cellular carriers maintain high compliance standards that require certifications tests before an IoT device is allowed on their networks. This compliance process is complicated, complex and ever-changing due to the variety of carrier requirements and how they may vary from one product design to the next.
 
Below are four recommendations to stay ahead of cellular carrier requirements and passing initial carrier certifications the first time:
 
  • Know the key design functions of supporting compliance
     
    Successful cellular compliance is divided into two key parts - hardware and firmware designs. Selecting the correct module, antenna and EMI control for your cellular IoT device are critical hardware design functions. To support carrier certifications your firmware should include manual cellular module control, a fallback option to retry data connection, and supported firmware updates along with over-the-air-provisioning.
  • Consider carrier requirements in the early stages of design
     
    Product design teams have several moving parts to account for when creating project plans for new cellular products. This has frequently caused cellular compliance to be overlooked by designers until the last minute or until it is too late, which often results in first-test failures.
  • Avoid common myths about cellular carrier certifications
     
    Each cellular carrier requires a variety of individual standards when designing and manufacturing cellular devices, beyond FCC certification requirements, which complicates and confuses the compliance process. This is why OEMs, manufacturers and solution providers should not make any assumptions and should avoid common myths, like the ones mentioned in 11 Myths about Cellular Certification Requirements.
  • Partner with a proven expert
     
    Working with a proven expert to manage the wide range of carrier requirements will help save resources and increase time to market, without the hassle and headache of having a product fail certification tests. Working with a specialist like, Digi Wireless Design Services, from the early design phase to the final product launch will provide the experience needed to pass both FCC and carrier certification tests.