Gaining the appropriate certification is vital if you are going to sell and distribute your IoT product commercially. Without it, your product won’t have a legal route to market. It is, therefore, one element of your project that should be under constant consideration.
The Sigfox IoT Agency has written an article summing up what needs to be done, with recommendations to ensure the appropriate certifications are achieved as painlessly as possible. Read it here!
Sigfox requires two different kinds of certification, which are complementary.
To develop a Sigfox-enabled end product, you need to create or use a Sigfox Verified radio solution, then go through a Sigfox Ready certification process. The two certifications are very different.
A fully certified product = a Sigfox Verified radio solution + a Sigfox Ready end-product. Both certifications are explained below.
1) Sigfox Verified™ certification
The goal of this certification is to implement the Sigfox stack inside a radio solution. The Sigfox technology is open to be integrated into any compatible sub-GHz radio transceiver.
The Sigfox Verified™ certification is for semiconductor companies willing to develop modules or reference designs which embed the Sigfox library. It is also for end customers who would like to develop a product based on radio solutions which do not embed the Sigfox stack.
Conducted tests ensure that the Sigfox protocol is well implemented in the radio solution, and that our requirements in terms of spectrum and modulation are respected. Once your radio solution is "Verified", you can use it again for any other product: from then on, they will only need to pass the Sigfox Ready certification.
Who needs to pass the Sigfox Verified™ testing and apply for certification?
- Semiconductor companies willing to develop an integrated Sigfox module.
- End-customers willing to develop their own radio solutions (transceivers, etc.).
Note: Some customers are willing to develop their own radio solution for their device. They will also need to pass the tests, and to apply for the Sigfox Ready certification. This is to ensure that their product is performing correctly during radiated tests.
2) Sigfox Ready™ certification
The goal of this certification is to ensure that the radio performance of all devices communicating on our network provide the best experience for end customers.
This is the most common certification. It is necessary for all end-product devices including Sigfox technology going to market. Based on radiated tests executed by a third party laboratory, customers understand how well their devices perform in terms of Radio.
Who needs to pass the Ready™ certification?
- Any customer who wants to launch a Sigfox-compatible product.
Testing for Sigfox Verified certification is based on conducted tests to verify the Sigfox protocol and the RF modem performance against Sigfox requirements. These tests are performed by Sigfox SA.
Sigfox has developed the SDR Dongle and RSA software to help device makers prepare for their Sigfox Verified compliance tests.
Sigfox Ready certification tests measure the radiated radio performance of the device. It also makes sure that the device respects our requirements.
To start a Sigfox Ready certification, these actions are necessary:
- Contact one of the local test houses,
- Launch the certification process on the Build platform.
The marketing of radio devices is highly regulated in all countries over the world and is considered very sensitive.
All radio products and short-range devices must comply with country-specific requirements to obtain regulatory or type approval. Depending on the country, the necessary processes can differ considerably, ranging from “self-declaration” to “classical type approval” -- to more complicated rules, possibly.
Regulatory certification is a critical step in a go-to-market strategy since it is the legal certification by the local country government for partner product sales.
Any RF device, including of course Sigfox devices, must show compliances to country regulations, and must follow the mandatory processes to obtain certification in each of them.
Hence, a Sigfox device must obtain two certifications, through two separate processes:
- Sigfox Ready: Mandatory to access the Sigfox network.
- Type approval: Mandatory to market a device in a given country.
These certifications do not depend on each other: a device can obtain a type approval without yet having obtained the Sigfox Ready certification. Conversely, you can start the Sigfox Ready certification process with yet having started the type approval process.
Instituto de Pesquisas Eldorado
CTC advanced GmbH
APPLUS LABORATORIES (LGAI TECHNOLOGY CENTER)
DEKRA Testing and Certification, S.A.U.
Bureau Veritas CPS
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