European Commission Certifies 802.11a Card

By Matthew Peretz

April 11, 2002

Royal Philips and Atheros break through 802.11a certification barriers.

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands, one of the world's largest electronics companies, today announced what it said is the industry's first 802.11a solution to receive the CE Mark for the European Market.

The CE Mark indicates that the product meets the requirements of the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive. The CE Mark follows a testing process, done in consultation with a European Notified Body, and should lead to the product being sold throughout most of the EU.

According to a Web site explaining the significance of the CE Mark: The European Commission refers to the CE Marking of products as a "passport" which can allow a manufacturer to freely circulate their products within the European marketplace. The marking applies only to products regulated by European health, safety and environmental protection legislation (product directives) but this is estimated to include more than 50% of the goods currently exported from the U.S. to Europe.

The actual CE Marking is the letters "CE" which a manufacturer affixes to certain products for access to the European market (consisting of 18 countries and also referred to as the European Economic Area or EEA). The letters "CE' are an abbreviation of a French phrase "Conformite Europeene". The marking indicates that the manufacturer has conformed with all the obligations required by the legislation. Initially, the phrase was "CE Mark": however, "CE Marking" was legislated as its replacement in 1993.

Only authorized 'notified bodies' can properly lead a company through to getting the CE Mark.

The Philips 802.11a device is a PC card, powered by an Atheros WLAN chipset. The CE Mark indicates that it meets European radio conformance requirements, including Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and Transmit Power Control (TPC) functionality.

Allen Nogee, senior analyst, wireless component technology, Cahners In-Stat/MDR, noted, "By finding a way to address the barriers facing Europe's adoption of 802.11a, Philips and Atheros have achieved a significant industry breakthrough that positions them well ahead of the pack in WLAN."

Customer samples of the 802.11a PC card will be available beginning this month, with volume production slated to commence in July, according to the companies.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of

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