EN 300 328 V1.8.1 covers wideband data systems operating in the 2.4GHz ISM band, including WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee. This is the harmonised standard against which manufacturers must issue their Declaration of Conformity for the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) Directive.
Its successor, EN 300 328 V1.9.1, is now published and available to download free of charge from the ETSI website. However, it does not provide a presumption of conformity (or compliance) until it is cited in the EU Official Journal.
TÜV SÜD publishes the latest versions of the EU Official Journal in the Legislation Downloads section of its website.
In practice, the publication of this latest revision to the standard means that:
- EN 300 328 V1.8.1 is the current harmonised version of the standard, and can be used until it is superseded by EN 300 328 V1.9.1 (likely to be in around 18 months’ to two years’ time).
- EN 300 328 V1.9.1 can be used to demonstrate compliance, even though it is not yet cited in the Official Journal, but manufacturers must consult a Notified Body until it is.
- When EN 300 328 v1.9.1 is cited in the Official Journal, manufacturers can start to issue their Declaration of Conformity to this version of the standard and self-declare compliance (no Notified Body involvement required). Manufacturers may also continue to declare compliance to EN 300 328 V1.8.1 as long as it is cited in the Official Journal.
- Once EN 300 328 v1.9.1 is cited in the Official Journal, a Notified Body can still be involved in the compliance process on a voluntary basis, allowing manufacturers to use the Notified Body number on their product and packaging.
A brief overview of the technical differences between EN 300 328 V1.8.1 and EN 300 328 V1.9.1 is as follows:
- If a product is compliant with version 1.8.1 then no re-testing is required. Applicants may update their Technical Construction File (TCF), detailing that the changes in version 1.9.1 do not affect the compliance of their products and therefore conformity against version 1.9.1 can be assumed. The Declaration of Conformity (DoC), can then be updated to V1.9.1. It is advisable to include an updated Application form in the TCF (see Annex E of EN 300 328 V1.9.1).
- New declaration required by manufacturers if Geo-Location Capability is supported (No test requirement). If using V1.8.1 test results for V1.9.1, this will need to be factored into the Technical Construction File, (may be satisfied by completion of EN 300 328 v1.9.1 Application form and inclusion in the TCF)
- Manufacturers may provide a statistical analysis of the ‘Accumulated Transmit Time and Frequency Occupation’ (Clause 5.3.4), applicable to Frequency Hopping devices such as Bluetooth. This may reduce testing time and cost to the manufacturer. This change also provides clarification and alternative options when the requirements are not fulfilled 100% of the time.
- There are changes to the application form as EN 300 328 V1.9.1 no longer refers to the values of ‘R’ and ‘Q’. Manufacturers no longer need to contact chipset vendors for this information. The minimum CCA (Clear Channel Assessment) value a manufacturer can declare has been reduced from 20 µs to 18 µs.
- It is no longer a requirement to test Transmitter Unwanted Emissions in the Out-of-band domain (Clause 5.3.9) at extreme temperatures. This will reduce test time and cost to the applicant.
- The Receiver blocking requirement (Clause 5.3.7) is reduced from -30 dBm to -35 dBm (Less stringent limit).
- Other changes include some clarifications and additional wording to assist manufacturers and test labs during the test process.