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Why certification must take a global approach

We explain the importance of global device certification and how to achieve it

All IoT devices require certification in order to be able to join cellular networks and certifications are highly granular, going down to the component level to place certification requirements on modules, as well as the final device to be brought to market. The situation is made more complex because IoT devices typically are intended for use in multiple markets and carriers have different certification markets across the globe with local, national and regional variations to consider. Simply gaining certification in one market does not result in a globally-certified device and, unfortunately, certification efforts must be repeated for each jurisdiction a device is to be deployed in.

However, work done in one region doesn’t have to be wasted and it can be re-used in the effort to achieve compliance with other certification requirements in other parts of the globe. There are several different classes of certification to achieve compliance with extending from regulatory certification to industry-specific conformance certification and on to carrier certification. Industries, nations, regions and the carriers all have variations from location to location so there are multiple dimensions to consider when preparing a device for certification.

One way to simplify and accelerate is to utilize pre-certified modules which can enable a device to gain certification more rapidly. Another practise is to use certification agents to handle the process on behalf of an organization. This can help IoT service providers to avoid costs and delays by tapping into agents’ experience, familiarity and relationships with certification authorities. Quectel has recently launched Quectel Certification Services which formalizes its certification expertise in a new portfolio of offerings to help customers bring products to market faster by gaining certifications more easily.

Quectel can help you achieve global device certification

In fact, Quectel has assembled so much experience that it now sees most certifications taking a six-to-eight week process for its module customers’ devices (based on pre-certified Quectel modules). That is in contrast to going directly to certification organizations which can result in it taking up to six months to gain certifications. For many IoT use cases, a six-month delay to launch is unacceptable and could make or break a proposition in markets where being first-to-launch is a critical differentiator.

Quectel augments its certification expertise and relationships with certification organizations with professional capabilities that, again, would be challenging for individual companies to assemble. The Quectel pre-scan service in its own labs can be used to assess certification compliance before applying to certification authorities and we also offer our technical support facilities and debugging solutions to address common, and not so common, certification issues.

However, understanding the demands of different jurisdictions across the globe is a fundamental part of an IoT device’s route to market and therefore organizations should familiarize themselves with the likely requirements of certification authorities from regulators, to industrial conformance and carriers in each market they expect their device to be deployed in. In an ideal world this knowledge would be assembled early and incorporated into device design and development to ensure certification is straightforward and timely. However, there are ways to catch up once a device is ready for production, especially if pre-certified components are used and a certification agent with knowledge can help accelerate and simplify certification in markets across the globe.

The challenges of gaining global certifications were explored in a recent Quectel Masterclass titled ‘IoT device certification part IV: Obtaining certification across the globe‘. Quectel’s Certification Director (North America) Seungryoul Yoon details the priorities in different jurisdictions and shares his tips and techniques for ensuring your path to global certifications is smooth.

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