WPC Certification

Revolutionizing Connectivity: Certification Required for High-Performance Hotspot Devices

calendar12 Jan, 2024
timeReading Time: 11 Minutes
WPC ETA Certificate

The Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing (WPC) was established as part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in 1952 and is headquartered in New Delhi, having regional offices in all major cities of India. ETA, which stands for Equipment Type Approval, is a license and certification required for wireless devices used in radio stations, remote sensing and other electronic devices, and wireless network interfaces in India. The WPC ETA certificate is necessary if you want to set up a wireless devices production or manufacturing business in India or engage in the import/export of devices that have Local Area Network (LAN) or Wi-Fi-enabled devices. WPC ETA certificate in India license signifies that a particular equipment, device, or establishment meets regulatory standards for radio frequency. The WPC ETA certificate, mandated for wireless devices in India, ensures compliance with technical standards and frequency spectrum guidelines. Issued by the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, the certification process involves various tests and is necessary for all wireless equipment operating in unlicensed frequency bands.

How WPC plays an important role in the standardization of wireless networks

WPC is a nodal agency that regulates the licensing functioning of private wireless networks and radio stations, frequency spectrum management, and enforcing quality control of WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled devices such as routers, modems, wireless dongles, etc. WPC ensures that all major players in the radio and wireless network product and service providers in the market comply with the technical standards set by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The WPC approval and certification process is overseen by the Department of Telecommunications, guaranteeing that electronic products and devices meet the necessary specifications requirements. This involves rigorous testing to maintain the quality and integrity of wireless equipment.

Who is Eligible for a WPC license?

Manufacturers, importers, and sellers of wireless equipment, radio station owners, and innovators in wireless and Bluetooth-based devices must have a valid WPC ETA certificate. Also, Any device manufacturer and business operating in unlicensed frequency bands is required to have a WPC ETA certificate. Manufacturers, dealers, importers, and other entities dealing in non-network services, such as cable TV providers, are required to have a non-network license for the purpose of carrying out certain activities, such as importing, dealing, and selling wireless products in India. WPC issues a separate import license for the sale of products outside India. In order to sell WiFi-enabled devices, radio-enabled operations, and products having wireless hotspot capability, WPC  approval is also essential for wireless products and services entering and selling in the Indian market.

Who are the entities concerned under the ambit of WPC regulations?

Manufacturers, importers, and sellers of wireless devices are eligible to apply for the WPC ETA certificate. Additionally, Indian representatives of foreign manufacturers or distributors can also initiate the application process. The process to obtain an ETA entails making a formal application with the concerned WPC Office or concerned Regional Licensing Offer (RLO).  

Types of WPC ETA Certificates 

The Ministry has defined three types of WPC ETA certificates available for manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters of wireless devices, and radio station operators and owners. Foreign manufacturers and distributors of wireless products and devices must designate an Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) who would apply for a WPC ETA certificate with the statutory authorities on behalf of the foreign entity. The categories of licenses are  – 

1. Non-Network License 

This license is applicable to operators and owners of radio frequencies who work on private short-distance or limited frequencies or who work in certain niche areas of communication systems, such as Cable TV Operators, Maritime Mobile Station, Radio paging or textual messages transmission, Aeronautical mobile station etc. This license is required for the purpose of operating a business that falls in the category of non-network category specified by the Department of Telecommunications. Non-network License is divided into three sub-categories –

a)  Important License – This license is required to be obtained by a foreign business trying to export or sell its products in the Indian Market. 

b) Dealer Possession License – This license is required by an organization or individual that deals in the sale and purchase of telecommunication devices. The same is granted by the WPC for the valid possession and distribution of wireless, radio, or blue-tooth-enabled products in India. 

2. Network License

A Network License is provided to companies or network service distributors who provide limited or restricted network services through their radio frequency to a group of customers or subscribers, such as mobile network companies, DTH cable providers, broadband internet, etc. 

The entities that want to provide broadband internet services to their customers must obtain an ISP (Internet Service Provider) license from the Ministry of Telecommunications. Furthermore, if someone wants to conduct experiments on hybrid instruments or gadgets of a wireless nature, they can apply for an experimental license from the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing.

3. Equipment Type Approval 

Equipment Type Approval (ETA) is a general license or consent provided by the WPC in respect of importing unlicensed frequency-based wireless and Bluetooth devices. ETA is necessary for all kinds of radio-frequency (RF) based, wireless and Bluetooth, mobile, and television network transmission technologies and devices imported into India. However, if the router, modem device or product is manufactured in India and only the RF/wireless or Bluetooth-compliant module is fitted outside, such a finished product does not require any separate WPC ETA certificate.

WPC ETA certificate approval is not required for products and devices exempted from import licensing requirements to operate in the unlicensed frequency band, such as mobile handsets, smartphones, laptops, mice, keyboards, CPUs, printers and scanners, headphones, speakers, etc.

Procedure for Acquiring WPC ETA Certification

Applying for a WPC ETA Certificate starts with registering on the WPC online portal that initiates the application process, followed by preparing specification documents such as RF test reports from an accredited Indian lab, which are mandatory for radio frequency testing, details of the wireless product or device, and WiFi or Bluetooth module retrofitted in it, details of the manufacturer and manufacturing process employed etc. After meeting all requirements, the application and documents are submitted online along with the required government fees, and the application is either approved or returned for further clarification.

Step 1- Registering on the WPC Online Portal

The first step to obtaining a WPC ETA Certificate is registering online on the Saral Sachar Portal. On the Department of Telecommunications Portal, you should make the choice of the type of products or devices you wish to import or manufacture and pay the requisite application fees. You are also required to provide a self-declaration for the application and devices selected for import. Post registration, you would receive an import ID. 

Step 2- Getting Radio Frequency (RF) test reports

Assessing wireless equipment for radio frequency parameters and efficiency is crucial. The acceptance of Radio Frequency testing reports from an International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) accredited foreign lab or a National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories(NABL)  accredited lab for WPC ETA approval simplifies the process, ensuring compliance with national regulations and standards.

Step 3- Application and Document Submission

Submitting an application for the WPC ETA requires detailed wireless device information. Essential documents include test reports, technical specifications, and import licenses. The process involves great communication with the WPC department and using the Saral Sanchar portal for online applications. The Ministry of Communications oversees the approval process through the national radio regulatory authority.

Step 4- Paying the Government Fees

The final step involves paying the fee payment of Rs. 10,000/-  for the  WPC ETA certification process, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. It involves much effort and is essential for WPC ETA certification approval. The process takes place through the Ministry of Communications’ Saral Sanchar Portal and takes about 30 days.

Step 5- Receiving the WPC ETA certificate

Upon approval, the WPC ETA certificate is issued, signifying adherence to wireless communication regulations. It serves as official recognition of compliance with regulatory standards for radio frequency testing reports, internet connections, and imported equipment. Issued by the WPC wing of the Ministry of Communications, this certification is essential for Bluetooth devices, mobile hotspots, and electronic equipment.

Documentation required  for WPC ETA Certificate

Submission of proper documentation and valid test reports plays an important role in the WPC ETA certificate process, which ensures a smooth licensing process. Submission of documents can be done both online through the Saral Sanchar Portal and offline by physically submitting them to the Wireless Planning and Coordination  Wing Office for effective perusal of the application. Thoroughly scrutinized and accurate registration documents are required for successful WPC ETA certificate approval. Submission of all necessary paperwork is essential, requiring much effort. The documents that an entity is required to furnish  at the time of submitting an application are – 

Copy of Company Registration,

 Details about the company or the individual entity applying for a WPX ETA certificate, such as charter documents, MOA, AOA, and Details of the shareholders of the company, CIN and DIN, GSTIN number, address of the registered address of the company or manufacturing unit are the important documents that are required to be submitted on the Saral Sachar Portal.  

The ID of Authorized Representative 

If a foreign entity, company or individual wants to export or distribute wireless devices or products to India, they are required to designate an Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) who should complete all the formalities, including applying and submitting documents with the authorities and paying the requisite Government fees on behalf of the foreign entity.

RF Test Reports from an authorized lab 

Obtaining a valid RF test report from an ILCA-accredited foreign Lab or an NABL-accredited Indian Lab is a must to move ahead with the licensing process. WPC Registration requires an RF test report in order to ensure that the device or product meets the safety standards and falls within the frequency spectrum as mandated by the Department of Telecommunications.

Purchase Order and Import Export Code(IEC) Certificate of the Product 

For the purpose of obtaining import approval from the Trade Authorities, you are required to obtain an IEC certificate from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. It acts as an approval to sell hotspot devices or RF modules individually. An IEC certificate also helps in availing tariff reductions and tax benefits in the import of devices and products. Hence, an importer needs to get these Import-related clearances from the designated regulatory bodies in order to distribute the product in the Indian Market.

Technical Specifications and other details of the product 

Submission of vital supporting documents is crucial for the WPC certification application. Technical specifications and test reports are essential. Providing specified technical and regulatory documents is critical for successful application. A comprehensive set of documents ensures compliance with wireless communication regulations. Successful application leads to the issuance of the WPC certificate.

Costs associated with WPC ETA Certification

Understanding the financial implications of WPC ETA certification is essential for manufacturers. Comprehensive knowledge aids in effective budget planning and is integral to the application process. Manufacturers should assess costs related to WPC ETA certification to be well-prepared. It’s crucial for effective budget planning and a smooth application process.

Breakdown of Fees

Manufacturers planning for a WPC ETA certificate benefit from a transparent breakdown of fees, aiding in budgeting and financial clarity. The specific breakdown encompasses various certification components, facilitating effective planning and allocation of resources. The clarity on financial requirements ensures a smooth process through the Ministry of Communications and the WPC department.

Understanding the payment process

Manufacturers benefit from a comprehensive understanding of the payment process for WPC ETA certification, aiding in timely and accurate completion. Clarity on the payment process ensures seamless application, streamlining the financial aspect. Knowledge of the payment process facilitates compliance with requirements, benefiting manufacturers in the certification process.

Benefits of  obtaining a WPC ETA Certificate

Facilitating smoother import processes for hotspot devices, ensuring national security, and addressing the needs of all wireless users are pivotal advantages of obtaining WPC ETA certification. Enhancing national security through regulatory compliance and facilitating import processes further highlights the significance of WPC ETA certification.

Facilitating import processes

Streamlined import processes are a major benefit of WPC ETA certification for manufacturers. It simplifies and expedites the import of wireless hotspot devices, benefiting both manufacturers and consumers. This certification ensures efficient and compliant import processes for electronic equipment, including mobile hotspots and other wireless devices, ultimately facilitating a smoother import experience.

Ensuring national security

Adhering to regulatory standards, WPC ETA certification contributes to national security. It aligns with imperatives for wireless communication compliance and prioritizes stringent standards. Regulatory compliance through WPC ETA certification plays a vital role in ensuring national security, harmonizing the process with national security imperatives for wireless communications.

Assuring the quality of devices

Ensuring the standards of quality and safety for wireless hotspot devices is vital. The WPC ETA certificate guarantees that these devices meet the required parameters through rigorous testing, including radio frequency emissions and electromagnetic compatibility. This certification not only builds customer trust but also ensures compliance with mandatory selling requirements in India.

Why is professional help crucial in obtaining WPC ETA Certification?

Obtaining WPC ETA certification can be a complex process that requires specialized knowledge. Professional help ensures a complete application that meets all requirements. An experienced consultant guides you through documentation and testing, helping you obtain certification quickly and avoid costly mistakes.

How do I ensure my device meets the WPC standards?

To ensure your device meets the WPC standards, start by checking the latest guidelines on the WPC website. Conduct thorough testing to ensure compliance. Submit your device to an authorized testing laboratory for certification. Once certified, you canproudly display the WPC logo on your packaging and marketing materials.

Conclusion

Obtaining a WPC ETA certificate is essential for wireless hotspot devices and wireless networks as it ensures compliance with regulatory standards and facilitates the import process. The WPC ETA certificate plays a vital role in device regulation and ensures national security by assuring the quality of devices. To acquire the certification, it is crucial to follow the necessary procedures, including registering on the WPC online portal, submitting required documents, and paying the government fees. Professional help can greatly assist in navigating the certification process. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your device meets the WPC standards to increase the chances of obtaining the ETA certificate. Overall, the WPC ETA certification provides numerous benefits and ensures the smooth functioning of wireless hotspot devices.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is a WPC Certificate?

A WPC Certificate stands for Wireless Planning and Coordination Department of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Established in 1952, the Department of Telecommunications is the nodal regulatory authority for frequency spectrum management for radio stations and wireless networks. WPC Certificate is a verification, signifying that a particular wireless device producer or manufacturer and its products comply with the standards set by the Ministry.

2. Who is eligible for a WPC ETA certification?

Foreign manufacturers, Domestic Manufacturers, Importers of wireless devices and radio station owners are some of the entities that require a WPC ETA certificate.

3. What is an Equipment Type Approval Certificate (ETA)

Equipment Type Approval Certificate is a technical examination and approval of the wireless device or product, verifying that it passes human safety standards and operates in unlicensed frequency bands. It certifies that the product is fit to be sold in India.

4. What devices or businesses which are included in the Non-Network License Requirement Category of the WPC Registration?

Devices, businesses or activities such as Maritime Mobile Stations, Radio paging or textual messages transmission, Aeronautical mobile stations, Experimental License, Non-Dealer Possession License, etc., fall under the Non-Network License Requirement Category as prescribed by the WPC Authority.

5. What is the Process for Applying for a WPC ETA Certificate?

To apply for a WPC ETA certificate for hotspot devices or wireless networks, the applicant needs to make an online application on the Saral Sancahr Portal of the Ministry of Communications and complete the requisite formalities.

6. Can someone make a physical application to WPC as well?

Yes, an applicant can apply by making a physical, hard-copy submission with the concerned RLOs and obtaining an ETA from a regional WPC India Office as well.

7. Do WiFi hotspot Devices and other devices manufactured in India require a WPC ETA certificate as well?

No. If a device has been manufactured in India, an RF/wireless or Bluetooth-compliant module is fitted outside; such a finished product does not require any separate WPC ETA certificate is not required.

8. What is the cost incurred to apply for a WPC ETA Certificate?

The Government Cost prescribed for applying for a WPC ETA Certificate is Rs. 10,000, excluding the cost of professional consultation.

9. How much time does it take tentatively to receive a WPC ETA Certificate for hotspot devices and other wireless network-routing devices?

It takes about 30 days for the WPC officials to examine and assess the application and issue a WPC Certificate after careful examination of the application

10. Who is a WPC Consultant?

A WPC consultant, like Corpbiz, facilitates the application process applicable to the products and helps an applicant with formalities such as submission to WPC India, getting an RF test from an accredited lab for ETA Approval, Obtaining the WPC ETA, submission of mandatory disclosure documents such as IEC certificate and making payment of the Government fees applicable to the existing ETA along with any other miscellaneous application formality. Corpbiz’s extensive experience in providing WPC ETA application services will provide you with the edge you need to set up or expand your wireless network or digital device manufacturing business without any hassle.

11. What is the process to get a WPC ETA Certificate?

The process to obtain an ETA certificate is as follows –
1. Registering on the WPC Online Portal
2. Getting Radio Frequency testing reports
3. Application and Document Submission
4. Paying the Government Fees
5. Receiving the WPC ETA Certificate after verification

12. Who accredits the testing laboratories for Radio Frequency testing in India

The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is the body that accredits testing laboratories in India.

13. What is the prescribed IS Standard for foreign accredited labs with respect to Radio Frequency testing?

The IS standard for an ILCA lab with respect to Radio Frequency Testing is ISO–17025.

14. How can I find a Government-approved laboratory for Radio Frequency testing for my wireless device?

In order to get the Radio Frequency Testing for your wireless hotspot device or product, you are required to find a Government-approved testing laboratory. Finding an NABL-accredited and Department of Telecommunications-approved laboratory can be a challenging task. Corpbiz facilitates the application process for you by having the required tests and verifications done from a government-approved laboratory, hence saving you time, cost, and effort of collecting all the requisite compliances.

Read Our Article: wireless communication compliance

Request a Call Back

Are you human? : 6 + 4 =

Easy Payment Options Available No Spam. No Sharing. 100% Confidentiality