From Optimizing and Testing WLANs: Proven Techniques for Maximum Performance

This Appendix provides a general guide to the regulatory and standards documents that govern WLAN equipment design and testing.

A.1 FCC Part 15

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Part 15 rules-more precisely, Title 47, Part 15, of the US Code of Federal Regulations-govern the operation of unlicensed RF emitters, categorized as unintentional radiators (i.e., devices that emit RF signals as a byproduct of their operation) and intentional radiators (i.e., devices that emit RF signals for the purpose of radio communications). To some extent the Part 15 rules could be considered to have spurred the development of Wireless LANs (WLANs) in the US when the FCC enabled the creation and sale of unlicensed spread-spectrum communications devices in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The Part 15 rules are divided into six subparts:

  • Subpart A lays down general rules for all types of unlicensed emitters, including measurement standards.

  • Subpart B covers unintentional radiators, such as personal computers, TV sets, etc. This subpart is not applicable to WLANs.

  • Subpart C regulates intentional radiators such as WLAN devices, cordless telephones, etc. Section 15.247 in this subpart specifically pertains to WLANs, and Sections 15.207 and 15.209 specify limits on spurious signals emitted outside the WLAN operating bands. Note that this subpart only covers WLAN devices in the 2.400 -2.483 GHz ISM band.

  • Subpart D describes unlicensed personal communications service devices and is not applicable to WLANs.

  • Subpart E regulates unlicensed national information infrastructure (U-NII) devices, which includes WLANs operating in the 5.15, 5.25, and 5.725...

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Topics of Interest

Overview The following bibliographic references were found useful when writing this book, and can serve as starting points for further study on any of the topics covered in the preceding chapters.

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