The 38th meeting of the Telecommunications Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance Committee (TCAM) and the 4th meeting of the TCAM Experts Group were held in Brussels on 21-22 November 2013, chaired by the European Commission (EC). About 60 participants attended, representing various member states, the Association of Notified Bodies, standardisation bodies and other relevant and consumer organisations.
Major subjects dealt with at this gathering included the following:
- Revision of the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) Directive - meetings continue to be held at Council and European Parliament (EP) level regarding revision of the new Radio Directive (RE-D). There has been a lack of consensus on a number of issues, with the most controversy over article 5 on equipment registration. It would be convenient for the EC, the Council and the EP to reach agreement on the directive by the end of 2013, as EP elections in 2014 could compromise or delay publication in 2014;
- Exposure of children to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) - following the safeguard measure raised by Belgium under article 9 of the R&TTE Directive, a Royal Decree was published in August 2013 which forbids the marketing of mobile phones conceived for children from March 2014 on, as they do not have the same requisites as mobile phones for adults and can thereby cause health problems for children under seven years old;
- The fifth European market surveillance campaign - devoted to implementing the digital frequency selection (DFS) function, used in wireless local area network (WLAN) devices. Given that 5 GHz WLANs operate with the frequency band generally used for weather information and military radar, such devices must use frequency channels currently used by radars. That task is carried out by the DFS function, described in harmonised standard EN 301 893; this DFS function is mandatory in such devices.
A total of 21 member states took part in this campaign. Portugal participated via the ANACOM Testing and Calibration Laboratory (LEC). The 64 equipment items evaluated revealed the following: i) 3 devices (5 percent) do not have DFS implemented; ii) in 22 devices (35 percent) DFS can be deactivated by users by changing the firmware; and iii) 38 devices (59 percent) enable users to change the "usage region".
The member states were recommended the following: given the high number of non-compliance instances, they are encouraged to undertake more control actions regarding non-compliant equipment in order to ban it from their domestic markets.
The sixth campaign will begin on 1 January 2014 and be devoted to global system for mobile communications (GSM) repeaters used inside buildings.
This committee's next meeting is scheduled for 10-11 June 2014.