5G Device Makers Seek Flexibility to Market, Pre-Sell 5G RF Devices

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Device makers would like the FCC to update or waive some of its rules to allow 5G RF devices to get to market faster. Specifically, the Consumer Technology Association is asking for more flexibility to market and pre-sell devices to the public before getting the agency’s equipment authorization.

“The decades-old prohibition on conditional sales fails to reflect today’s tightly-timed development cycles, not to mention the fierce level of marketplace competition and new generations of key products typically released on an annual cycle,” says CTA in a petition. The fact that consumers can buy products by going to a manufacturer’s website, or by pushing a button through an app means sales competition is “intense” and “global,” according to the trade group.  

“Modifying (or, in the alternative, waiving) Section 2.803(c)(2) to allow conditional, pre-authorization sales to the public is necessary to meet consumer and market demands and to further the policy priority of 5G global leadership,” says CTA. It calls preparing for a global product launch an “intense, multistep process,” yet explains the current rules offer only a limited ability to import devices prior to FCC authorization.

“As soon as devices are available for purchase, consumers want to see and handle display devices in retail stores,” says CTA. “However, manufacturers cannot import devices intended for display in retail environments until after approval, and there is often a lag after FCC authorization in getting the display devices shipped to numerous retail locations.”

CTA asserts RF devices that have not completed the equipment authorization process would not be prematurely delivered to end users. This would ensure the Commission can continue to protect against harms from RF emissions and promote transparency in radiofrequency device labeling, according to the trade group.

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