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Ready for RED

European Radio Equipment Directive (RED)

From June 13, 2017 onwards, any radio equipment placed on the European market and put into service must conform to the new RED.

Ready for RED?

The new radio equipment directive RED 2014/53/EU adopted by the European Union on April 16, 2014, replaces the previous directive RTTED 1999/5/EC, better known as R&TTE. Published on May 22, 2014, the RED took effect on June 13, 2016, with an additional transition period of one year for manufacturers to comply with the new requirements. RED raises the requirements on radio equipment such as broadcast digital TV and radio receivers, mobile phones, satellite receivers and any equipment that uses WLAN, Bluetooth or ZigBee. With RED, not only radio transmitters, but also radio receivers have to meet minimum regulatory performance requirements and need to be tested.

RED requirements

Raising Requirements

Radio equipment must comply with the “essential requirements” covered in article 3 of the RED. Beside general requirements relating, for example, to the protection of health and safety covered by Article 3.1(a) and electromagnetic compatibility covered by Article 3.1(b), the RED also contains fundamental technical requirements covered by Article 3.2. While R&TTE mainly focused on radio transmitters, the new RED adds a crucial requirement and explicitly covers the receiver sections of radio equipment as well as mere radio receivers. Radio equipment must not only effectively use the radio spectrum, it must also support the efficient use of the radio spectrum to avoid interference with terrestrial and orbital communications.

Products Covered

In general, the RED covers all products and equipment that intentionally transmit or receive radio waves for communications or radio determination in the frequency range from almost DC to 3000 GHz. This is independent of the product’s primary function as long as it includes, for example, a cellular communications standard such as WCDMA and LTE, a non-cellular standard such as WLAN, Bluetooth and RFID, a broadcasting standard such as AM/FM, DAB, DRM and DVB-T/T2 or radar or satellite navigation for radio determination. Such radio equipment needs to achieve a minimum level of performance in terms of sensitivity and selectivity, which must be demonstrated by appropriate measurements.

Testing Needs

The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that the radio equipment he designs and manufactures is in accordance with the essential requirements covered in Article 3 of the RED. If the radio equipment complies with the applicable harmonized standard published in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union, it is presumed to be in conformity with Article 3 of the directive. Several test cases described in the harmonized standards can be performed with manually operated test setups. More demanding test cases for complex radio equipment require automated test systems. Rohde & Schwarz supports a full range of test solutions to perform the required test cases.

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