For operators using MikroTik wireless, careful attention should be payed to the the new series of products being released. In particular, I am talking about anything with -US in the model number. I think some background is in order.
The Federal regulations dealing with wireless equipment are found in 47 C.F.R. Ss 15.5(b), referred to as “Part 15”. 802.11 equipment is certified under Part 15. In April of 2014, the FCC enacted major changes to Part 15 certification as follows:
- Remove indoor restriction for 5.15-5.25 GHz
- Modifications to requirements for devices operating in (U-NII-1) 5.25-5.35 GHz and (U-NII-2) 5.47-5.725 GHz with regard to Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS)
- The Commission also grandfathered U-NII devices certified under old standards, that are already installed for “the life of the equipment”.
- Rules were supposed to already be in effect but some parts are still being delayed by manufacturers.
- MikroTik is phasing in the new certification, see next slide.
- More information on Part 15 changes at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-575A1_Rcd.pdf.
The 5GHz band is divided into 4 sections as follows:
Prior to the Part 15 changes, MikroTik devices were ONLY certified in the U-NII-3 band. They were never certified to operate in the U-NII-1 and U-NII-2 bands, ever. nothing changes after the Part 15 change, even though they opened up the U-NII-1, MikroTik legacy devices (old Part 15 certified) are not certified there. Any devices without the -US in the model number are considered “grandfathered” devices and can continue to operate for the life of the device in U-NII-3 only.
Any devices with -US in the model number are certified for U-NII-1 and U-NII-3. Legacy devices will eventually get re-certified but until then, they are only usable legally in U-NII-3. There is a “drop dead” date coming, after which, any devices not certified and not yet in service will become international versions, meaning they can not legally be used in the US.
Here are a few FAQ’s that might help:
- What about legacy equipment certified under old Part 15 with respect to operation on U-NII-1 and U-NII-2 with/without DFS, was it ever certified for those frequencies?
Answer: It was only certified for U-NII-3 band, always has been. U-NII-1, U-NII-2 were never certified even though U-NII1 & 2 frequencies exist in the Regulatory Domain setting (these are taken from the Atheros chip)!
- Will new MT devices certified under new Part 15 rules eventually be certified for U-NII-2 with DFS?
Answer: To be determined by MT.
I know this is all a lot to digest so if you have questions about a particular device, please feel free to reach out to me. Until then, stay legal!