As the world gets shrouded in COVID-19, low contact has become an essential element in daily lives and work modes in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Under such circumstances, equipment connectivity has gradually become common; the demand for stable and high-speed wireless communication technology has greatly increased; and the role of Wi-Fi 6 will become increasingly important. Bureau Veritas, a major global company specialized in testing, inspection, and certification, held a seminar on "New Opportunities for the Communication Industry in the New Era of Wi-Fi 6E" at Dazhi Denwell, Taipei on April 9, 2021. The latest regulatory trends and key points for certifications concerned with related technologies were explained and analyzed by the technology experts from Bureau Veritas.
Pascal Le-Ray, the general manager of Bureau Veritas Taiwan, pointed out in his speech that, since COVID-19 has changed the entire world, communication technology has become the most important technology for the communications between people, between people and things, as well as between things. For instance, when different countries imposed lockdowns in 2020, it became necessary for various large companies to rely on online meetings to maintain operation. At the same time, an array of systems with smart functions emerged to meet demands, showing that the quality of communication technologies will become increasingly crucial for the digital transformation of companies and agencies. With industry-leading testing capability for Wi-Fi 6E, Bureau Veritas already has testing laboratories appointed by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The company is able to provide all-round Wi-Fi certification testing to wireless-network product manufacturers. Meanwhile, the company also has extensive experience in testing for compulsory test items required by relevant standards; and it has assisted many clients in successfully obtaining FCC certifications. Businesses that intend to step into this field may take advantage of Bureau Veritas' professional abilities to minimize time spent on bringing products into the market.
Continuous developments in regulations of various countries
For the first agenda of the seminar, Hank Chung from the Technical Services Division of Bureau Veritas gave a brilliant presentation on the topic of "Wi-Fi 6E Product Regulation Development Trends and Verification Unit Preparation". Hank Chung stated that Europe and the US have formulated new regulations for Wi-Fi 6E. The US has opened up 4 frequency bands for this purpose. But since these 4 frequency bands were previously opened for the use of other technologies, the FCC has set restrictions to protect Incumbent System from interference. As for Europe, the European Commission of Communications opened up the frequency band of 5925-6425MHz. Overall, compared to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrums currently in use, the bandwidth of the new spectrum is an increase of more than 150%.
The FCC's formulation of regulations for Wi-Fi 6E was announced in May 2020, and its corresponding test method did not complete until October 2020. Therefore, despite the faster pace at which the frequency bands were opened in the US, manufacturers did not have products available until December 2020. Basically, the FCC's regulations for Wi-Fi 6E 6GHz is still under the same original UNII chapter as before, and the related technical requirements are further extended based on this. Such regulations are separated into two categories: AP and Client. Equipment belonging to these two major categories are divided into high power and low power classifications based on their features. High-power equipment can be used outdoors and indoors. In addition to the original RF transmitter-related tests, it also needs to comply with the requirements of AFC (Automated Frequency Coordination) or CBP (Contention-Based Protocol). Low-power equipment is mainly used for indoor use. In addition to the original RF transmitter-related tests, there are also related product design restrictions (such as power supplied requirements, antenna requirements, etc.) and the requirements of the CBP (Contention-Based Protocol). The FCC has formulated limitation regulations for these classifications, so Hank Chung specially reminded businesses that they must first clarify the classifications to which their own products belong and take these into consideration at the design stage.
In addition to the key points of FCC's regulations, David Liu from the Technical Services Division of Bureau Veritas also gave an in-depth explanation of the UKCA marking requirements for radio equipment. He stated that after leaving the EU, the UK also formulated its own UKCA Marking directives, which include most goods several standards previously subject to CE markingrequired by the CE, including the EMCD, LVD, RED, and RoHS; these were put into effect on January 1, 2021. In relation to these UKCA markingstandards, he made several suggestions for products sold in the UK. 1. If you need to (or choose to) use an authorized representative or responsible person, they will need to be based in the UK for products being placed on the GB marketBusinesses must give the responsibilities of this matter to locally authorized personnel. 2. Check your legal responsibilities, confirm that your own company or and distributors have a clear understanding of the modified legal responsibilities if changed. 3. From 1 January 2023, the UKCA marking must, in most cases, be affixed directly to the product. You should start building this into your design process ready for this date. Goods to be shipped must have UKCA markings when being labeled. 4. In addition to UKCA marking, information including the names and addresses of the manufacturer and importer also need to be displayed on labels. 5. Products to be sold in the GB UK must comply with the UKCA marking, CE DoC; the UK DoC and related technical documentations must be signed and kept for 10 years after the product's entry to market , kept for up to 10 years after the product is placed on the market. 6. The UK standards are currently the same in substance and with the same reference as the standards used in the EU The regulations put into effect on January 1, 2021 was announced simultaneously in the EUOJ content published on the same day. 7. Note that products sold to the UK should follow relevant UK legislation (rather than EU legislation) UK regulations rather than EU regulations. Corresponding information can be found in several regulations. For electromagnetic compatibility, see Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016 (S.I. 2016/1091); for low voltage products directives, see Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 (S.I. 2016/1101); as for radio frequency equipment, relevant instructions can be found in Radio Equipment Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/1206).
Information security designs have become essential for Wi-Fi 6E
With regard to high-quality connections supported by large capacity, high efficiency, and high performance, Jimmy Wang from the Wi Fi NFC Testing Section of Bureau Veritas introduced Wi-Fi Alliance's latest certification technologies for Wi-Fi 6E and WPA3. He said the frequency band of Wi-Fi 6E has extended into 6 GHz, and the bandwidth with higher speed greatly reduces the delay of signal transmission. While the fast and trouble-free transmission brought by the various features of Wi-Fi 6E leads to an array of smart services, it will also give rise of risks of user information leakage or security attacks during the information transmission,. Therefore, Wi-Fi Alliance released new version of WPA3 in December 2020. The testing of SAE with Hash-to-Element and Transition Terminated Indicator will be required from December 2021.
Moreover, it adds some optional features. The first one is SAE Public Key (SAE-PK) This mechanism uses encrypted public key fingerprints to provide asymmetric authentication in order to prevent external malicious attacks. The next feature, Beacon Protection, ensures signal integrity by only utilizing keys that can be obtained by network equipment. The third feature is Operation Channel Validation. In the process of switching transmission channels, the system provides mutual authentication to both channels. The last feature is Privacy Extension. To achieve this, the system is enabled to support the designs of randomized MAC addresses, which protect the privacy of Wi-Fi users.
In addition, Kenny Lee from the Technical Services Division of Bureau Veritas also shared and explained the development trends of information security regulations in recent years. He first pointed out that, in 2020, Bureau Veritas received the "Industry Leader Award" in the Professional Services Category of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) with honor. Bureau Veritas sets the highest benchmark in the industry as an impartial third-party certification agency. Its information security testing laboratories have assisted many manufacturers in successfully completing certifications.
Regarding information security regulations, countries around the world have continuously introduced information security laws in the past few years in response to the emerging era of smart networks. Looking at Europe as an example, in 2019, the EU granted authority to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), and ENISA officially became a permanent cybersecurity agency of EU. ENISA is responsible for formulating certification plans, guiding the development of technical certification frameworks, and assisting member countries in dealing with large-scale cyber attacks. In addition to the EU, other major industrial nations have also begun to launch related plans one after another. Apart from rolling out relevant strategies, the agencies have also started to formulate related regulations. The IEC 62443, RED ARTICLE 3.3, and ETSI EN 303 645, for example, provide comprehensive directives that give businesses in various industries a clear direction for product design.
As a global agency specialized in information security certification, Bureau Veritas provides professional Wi-Fi certification and testing services for industrial control systems and consumers. Kenny Lee expressed that, as market demands rapidly emerge and various countries make regulations more stringent, manufacturers can take advantage of Bureau Veritas' expertise and experiences to quickly create products that comply with market regulations. Doing so can help reduce time spent on entering the market and enhance company competitiveness.
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