Mister Beacon Episode #34

Bluetooth Qualification

April 11, 2017

Live from the Bluetooth (SIG) World Event we get schooled on what it takes to get Bluetooth certification for a beacon product, the process and the cost of getting to use the Bluetooth brand.


  • Steve Statler 00:03

    So welcome to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem or Mr. Beacon as we're now calling it. We're still at the Bluetooth SIG event, Bluetooth well forum. And I am now talking to Harry Ward, who is does a very specialized job. And in our book, we talked about this process of getting regulatory approval and you've got PQ E on your, on your badge there, Harry, what's BQ? BQE, that's Bluetooth qualification expert. So I'm one of the guys. He's a technical assessor on behalf of the Bluetooth SIG. So to get to a Bluetooth product to market, you need to go through the qualification process. And I'm one of the guys that just that what's involved in the process of assessing the product, the technical assessment of test results, or listing the product, you're basically ensuring that clients. So what are the bad things they're trying to avoid? What would a non compliant device do?

    Harry Ward 01:01

    They wouldn't work is all about interoperability making sure any device will communicate and assessing compliance with the specification?

    Steve Statler 01:10

    So how do you help people go through that process? What are the things that you can help with?

    Harry Ward 01:15

    I will hold the hand and walk you through the process from the very start producing a test plan or arranging for testing, as required, review the results in the test reports and produce the certificate on the website and at least have that back to the client, the one with the compliance.

    Steve Statler 01:34

    So does every Bluetooth device have to go through this process? Absolutely. And other ways to avoid it, there's like, like, the some of the module makers, for instance?

    Harry Ward 01:47

    There are ins and outs, even the modules, they will be qualified somewhere along the stage. And there's always going to be a golden thread through right from the stage of a qualified Bluetooth component to the end product that that might be embedded into along with a host, a protocol stack and also the protocols that use us and then device. So if I'm making a beacon, I go to Nordic, and I get one of their modules. And I don't change anything, but I'm just basically putting a different battery in a case on it. Would I have to take that through the process? Yes, you still need to get a declaration ID with the Bluetooth SIG. And have you posted on post with website. But less expensive than? Absolutely. I mean, the the whole gamut of the qualification process is currently in the paperwork exercise to extensive testing, and then that that really comes into play if you're designing perhaps a protocol stack from the ground.

    Steve Statler 02:46

    What are we talking about in terms of the range of cost from one end of that spectrum to the other?

    Harry Ward 02:52

    A few 100 to several 1000, perhaps 10s of 1000s? Okay. And that's not the only certification that of course slight thinking manufacturer would have to get is it what what are some of the other things, you've got your Bluetooth certification, what are the others? As you as you say, that's just the starting point. And then you've got to decide on which market you're going to go into. And most people obviously would start off in the continental US. So they would need the FCC have an FCC grant for that. transmitting device. Next on the list will probably be the European market. That's quite a large market. Again, that involves specific testing and self declarations. From there, you may want to go into Asia and South America and teach on stage please you need individual countries you intend to market in.

    Steve Statler 03:43

    And what are we talking about in terms of cost for those respective markets?

    Harry Ward 03:50

    Again, it depends on the countries Singapore where you pay for exercise. So that's a few 100 to perhaps several 1000 Close to 10,000 for some countries where you need in country testing.

    Steve Statler 04:04

    Very cool. Well, Harry Ward, regulatory consultant and approvals LLC thanks very much for educating us we feel a bit smarter. Thank you.