I'm planning on importing a generic mini pc that comes with an onboard Realtek 8723 for Wifi and Bluetooth. We will need to get it FCC, CE, IC certified before we sell it in North America/EU.

Getting tested for Wifi and BT from a lab costs a several thousand dollars for each system (Wifi and BT). Since we do not intend to use Wifi at all, can I disable the Wifi in Firmware and get certified for Bluetooth only ?

The firmware in commercial product will also have the wireless disabled with no way for user to turn it on.

Thanks in advance

  • \$\begingroup\$ can I disable the Wifi in Firmware and get certified for Bluetooth only? Yes because your product does not support WiFi as far as the user and FCC are concerned. Also the Realtek 8723 should have the required certifications already, your product might "inherit" these certifications. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Oct 9 '18 at 5:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @Bimpelrekkie. I will take a closer look at the Realtek module to make sure I got the correct number and if this one is certified. If my product does "inherit" these certifications, what do I still need to do to make sure I have this documented per FCC, CE's satisfaction? \$\endgroup\$ – Curious101 Oct 9 '18 at 6:07

Compliance with WLAN and Bluetooth product standards are not part of CE/FCC/IC compliance. The latter are only concerned with radio immunity/emissions and not about product conformance to industry standards.

Tests against product standards are probably already carried out by whoever made the radio module, and if you haven't changed anything there, you shouldn't need to carry out new product tests. Meaning: be careful with which antennas that are used and only use those that have been used in product testing.

Tests against CE or FCC or IC is something else. For example for CE marking, you need to test against EN/ETSI 300 328, which only cares about the radio being a 2.4GHz wideband "thing", be it Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The nice thing here is that if your product has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth active at the same time, you get both tested under the same standard, given that they both use 2.4GHz.

If you can ensure that the Wi-Fi radio is electrically disabled and will never be active, then you shouldn't need to test it. That is, if you can ensure that it never emits a carrier wave and never acts as a receiver. In that case it can be regarded as a 'chunk of electronics' and will be covered by the immunity/emission tests of the rest of the product.

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