Until December 2010, ANACOM had three laboratories under its Spectrum Management Division:
- Radio Laboratory (LR) - Set up in the 1970s, its objective was to carry out tests to verify the characteristics of transmitters, receivers and transmitters/receivers, under the legal system that determined their approval.
- Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory (LCEM) - Set up in the early 1990s, its objective was to test emissions and immunity, by conduction and radiation, in electrical and electronic equipment, to provide compliance with the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive. This laboratory obtained accreditation from IPQ - Instituto Português da Qualidade (Portuguese Institute of Quality), now IPAC - Instituto Português de Acreditação (Portuguese Institute of Accreditation), in January 1995.
- Radio Metrology Laboratory (LMR) - Set up in the early 1990s to ensure the traceability of measuring and testing equipment used by ANACOM, in order to ensure the quality of their services. This laboratory also became an accredited laboratory in October 1999.
Legislative amendments made in the last decade, including the entry into force of the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive - R&TTE Directive (transposed by Decree-Law no. 192/2000 of 18 August) and the revision of the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (transposed by Decree-Law no. 325/2007 of 28 September), have made significant alterations to the framework covering the activities of these first two laboratories.
Over the years of their existence, these laboratories have accumulated a wealth of competencies in the areas of their activity, some of which are unique in Portugal and which must be preserved. With the constant advance of technology, these competencies have been expanded and adapted to new technologies and new normative frameworks.
Meanwhile, ANACOM is seeking to make the work of its laboratories more flexible and more efficient in terms of their use of human and technical resources, both in relation to their operations and in the competencies already accredited by IPAC.
The activities of ANACOM's Laboratory must, to a great extent, respond to the internal needs of the institution; as such it is called upon to cooperate with other areas of the organization involved in metrological activity, to support ANACOM's supervision of the electronic communications equipment market under the R&TTE and EMC Directives, implemented respectively by Decree-law No. 192/2000 of 18 August and by Decree-law No. 325/2007 of 28 September, and also to provide calibration of ANACOM's equipment. As such, on 22 December 2010, ANACOM's Management Board proposed and approved the laboratory's new structure, based primarily on areas of an operational nature and focused on the execution of "testing" and "calibration".
Accordingly, the new name of Testing and Calibration Laboratory was chosen (abbreviated to LEC).