PTCRB (PCS Type Certification Review Board) is an organization that has been setup by the network operators to test GSM devices such as mobile phones, modules, M2M devices etc. The testing is based on appropriate 3GPP standards and meets the requirements of the GSM operators.PTCRB certification is a requirement for launching cellular devices on the North American GSM carriers such as AT&T, Verizon (for LTE) etc.
The list of PTCRB approved devices is available in the PTCRB website. That website provides the following information for each PTCRB approved device,
The date of PTCRB certification gives a good indication of life cycle of the module. A later date would indicate that the module is keeping uptodate with the required PTCRB updates.
For M2M application developers, it is important to choose a PTCRB-approved module so that their device can receive carrier approval. In addition to the PTCRB certification of the module, the M2M devices should also receive PTCRB certification before it can launched on a carrier network. Devices can leverage certifications of the module, but will be tested for SIM, power and RF interfaces.
PTCRB Certification process
The duration for PTCRB testing depends on features supported by the device – number of bands, data-only, data & voice, external or internal antenna etc. An important consideration is whether the device uses a module that has already received PTCRB certification. When the devices uses an already PTCRB-approved module, the PTCRB certification for the device will take 2-3 weeks.
PTCRB Certification Cost
It is better to get the cost estimates from PTCRB-approved test labs. However PTCRB costs for a data-only device that uses an external antenna will cost $16K – $20K. As the complexity of the device increases, the costs goes up. PTCRB costs for a device that supports voice, which has internal antenna and has multiple bands will be $40K – $50K.
Following are some of the test labs that are accredited by PTCRB,
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