The Global Certification Forum (GCF) announced that it is adding certification for devices using 450 MHz bands. This will enable compliance with the highest quality and interoperability requirements for devices operating in the 400 to 450 MHz spectrum range, with LTE bands B31 and B72 initially in scope.

Cellular bands in this spectrum range are becoming the preferred choice for many industrial, mission-critical and IoT applications around the world, including smart meters and smart grids. The 450 MHz ecosystem includes device and technology vendors, network operator mission-critical services (MCS) operators, utilities and industrial companies.

The new certification follows a multi-year collaboration between GCF and the 450 MHz Alliance, the industry body advocating for the worldwide use of the 450 MHz spectrum and representing stakeholders in the 450 MHz ecosystem.

Lars Nielsen, CEO at GCF, said, “We are delighted that the work of our members and partners has resulted in this new certification, which is effective for the first time in the industry and facilitates the evolution of the 450 MHz device and services ecosystems.”

Frequencies in the 450 MHz spectrum range provide excellent coverage for applications that require low data bandwidth, across industry, MCS and utilities. While higher frequency cellular bands can provide higher data rates, they cannot match the long-range capabilities of the lower 450 MHz frequencies. Operating at low frequencies also improves penetration through walls and into buildings, thus improving indoor and underground coverage.

The certification scope will also be extended for additional bands and radio access technologies on the 400 to 450 MHz bands, such as LTE Cat-M and 5G NR-Light (also known as reduced capability, or RedCap).