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JIS News

The Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) is reminding importers of wireless devices using a signal, to verify that they are type-approved to function in the country.

Speaking in a recent interview with JIS News, Managing Director of the SMA, Dr. Maria Myers-Hamilton, said that a Type-approval Certificate is issued for products meeting a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety requirements.

She noted that devices will be barred by the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) if the importer does not have a type-approved certificate.

“If you’re thinking of bringing in any device, go to our website, check out our approved list to make sure that you are good and if you are not sure, call us before you invest in any wireless device. Once it is a major investment, give us a call, we are here to assist you,” Dr. Myers-Hamilton assured.

Persons can visit the SMA’s website: www.sma.gov.jm or call the Authority at 876-618-1901-4 to make sure that devices are type-approved to function in Jamaica.

Administrative Assistant in the Engineering Department, SMA, Hope Lawrence, explained that type-approval aims to ensure that equipment used in the country conforms to the safety regulations and standards adopted by the Jamaican administration.

“(This aims) to ensure that harmful interference is not caused to another licensed user or other users of the spectrum,” she said.

Ms. Lawrence told JIS News that “usually when devices come in, Customs detain those devices. They’ll issue a detention notice to the persons bringing in those devices and they (importer) would take the device here to us. The engineers would then do their analysis and check to ensure that the devices operate within the frequency that it is supposed to be operating in and that the power level conforms to the required level.”

“Once they have made that analysis and arrived at a position that the device is okay to operate here, then we will issue a type-approved certificate that they would take back to Customs and then Customs would release the equipment. If the equipment is already on the list, it is just a matter of us stamping that device document from Customs and issuing it back to the client to take back to Customs,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ms. Lawrence explained that the Authority has a very robust monitoring and inspection division to check for compliance among users of the spectrum.

“Frequency audits are being conducted and that is [done] on a regular basis. In addition to that, we have state-of-the-art equipment that we use to identify these signals that are operating outside or not conforming to the structure of licensed frequency,” she shared.

Manager of Band Planning, SMA, Mahlangu Lawson, told JIS News that the Authority maintains an accurate frequency assignment database.

“So, we always have a bird’s-eye view of where everybody is and where everybody should be so that we know when persons are outside if their allocated or assigned space. It raises a red flag so we can now investigate a little further as to what is causing that and how we can resolve the interference,” he said.

Communicating by a wireless network enables companies in various businesses, from transportation to courier services to banking, to operate in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

The SMA is the regulatory body responsible for managing the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in Jamaica.

One of the Authority’s main functions is allocating and assigning frequencies for various services, including the amateur radio service.

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