Neha Patil (Editor)


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Certification of Wireless Devices

The PTCRB was established in 1997 as the certification forum by select North American cellular operators. Now a pseudo-acronym, it no longer stands for its original meaning of the PCS Type Certification Review Board (then named after the GSM1900 MHz band in North America).


The purpose of the PTCRB is to provide the framework within which GERAN , UTRAN , and E-UTRAN device certification can take place for members of the PTCRB. This includes, but is not limited to, determination of the test specifications and methods necessary to support the certification process for GERAN, UTRAN, and E-UTRAN devices. This group will also be responsible to generate input regarding testing of devices to standards development organizations.

Certified device types

PTCRB operates a certification program for devices operating in the following technologies and bands:

GERAN: 850, 1900 MHz


E-UTRA: FDD Bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13,14, 17, 25, 30, 66 TDD band 41

Certification standards

PTCRB certification is based on standards developed by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and other standards-developing organizations (SDOs) recognized by the PTCRB. In some cases, PTCRB certification may accommodate North American standards and additional requirements from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Industry Canada or any other government agency that may have jurisdiction and/or competence in the matter.

The database containing the standards for PTCRB certification is based on InterLab, this online database accessible through the PTCRB website, updates the status of RFT's (Request for Testing), Change Requests, Test Case status and Test Platforms.

By obtaining PTCRB Certification on a mobile device, it ensures compliance with cellular network standards within the PTCRB Operators' networks. Consequently, PTCRB Operators may block devices from their network, if they are not PTCRB certified.

The CTIA – The Wireless Association has been assigned as the administrator for the PTCRB Certification process and is also responsible for the administration of PTCRB issued IMEIs.

The PTCRB Validation Group (PVG) is a group of test laboratory organizations working in the field of PTCRB associated technologies. The PVG group meets on a regular basis to discuss technical issues and the resolution of problems in a harmonized way. PVG works on open PTCRB RfTs and the validation of Test Platforms and Test Cases for the relevant PTCRB operating frequencies. Full and Observer membership categories reflect the status and scopes of organisations working within the group. The Chair of the PVG is held by Thomas Jaeger of 7Layers, Germany

Some Mobile Network Operators may require further certification before a device is allowed to be placed on a network.

PTCRB Award of Excellence

Beginning in 2013, PTCRB began identifying PTCRB laboratories which most exemplify the ideal PTCRB laboratory.

The PTCRB operators consider the labs capabilities, the quantity and quality of certifications, and identifying labs which exceed expectations. This may include contributions to the industry which are in the interest of PTCRB.

The recipients of the 2016 PTCRB Award of Excellence: Sporton International Inc., 7 layers Korea Ltd, SGS Korea Co., Ltd. (Gunpo Laboratory), Telecommunication Technology Labs, Academy of Telecommunication Research, MIIT (Xue Yuan Road), Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA)

The recipients of the 2015 PTCRB Award of Excellence: 7layers, ADR Testing Services, CETECOM GmbH, CGC Inc., Microsoft Mobile OY, TCC Microsoft and Sporton International Inc.

Previous holders of the award include 7layers, BlackBerry RTS, CETECOM and Panasonic Imperium Test Laboratory for their outstanding work at the PTCRB.


PTCRB Wikipedia