R&TTE Radio & Telecom Terminal Equipment Directive

(Directive 99/5/EC)

(The R&TTE directive is currently under review...)


Starting June 2016 the RTT&E directive is being rpelaced by the RED directive.

The process of complying to the RED directive is difficult (at this moment : sept 2016) , due to the lack of harmonised standards published.


The following text is soon to be obsolete. Contact us for more information.


The R&TTE directive covers all radio and telecommunication terminal equipment, installations and apparatus, both mobile and stationary as well as fixed applications.

It has introduced the Manufacturers Declaration for both Radio Equipment and all Telecom equipment and removed the requirement to use a competent or notified body for both radio (Short range, Bluetooth, Wlan, LTE, Marine ) and wired equipment for applications in harmonized frequency bands.

New Approach and Essential Requirements

The 99/5/EEC is a New Approach Directive. This means that requirements are formulated in so-called Essential Requirements. Article 3 specifies these as:

  1. Compliance to the EMC and Safety Directives without the 50V/75V voltage limits,
  2. Radio equipment shall use the spectrum effectively, 
  3. Certain equipment classes may decided upon by the EC to:
    • perform correct "interworking"  with other equipment and must be connectable ,
      throughout the EC,
    • does not harm the network,
    • incorporates safe guards regarding user privacy,
    • provides anti fraud measures,
    • support access to emergency services,
    • supports features for disabled persons.

Common Harmonized standards

  • EN 300 220-x : Radio standard for Short Range Devices with a working frequency below 1GHz.
  • EN 300 440-x: Radio standard for Short Range Devices with a working frequency above 1 GHz
  • EN 301 489-1: EMC Standard for Radio Auxiliary equipment
  • EN 60950-1: Safety standard for radio equipment

Approval Assessment routes

This directive specifies 4 routes to assess conformity to the essential requirements. The most easy route uses the Manufacturers Declaration and requires the application of Harmonized Standards. This approval procedure is comparable to the LVD and EMC directive and adds to the use of harmonized standards to the European Harmonized Spectrum. Many popular applications may function in EC Harmonized frequency ranges, but for some applications or unusual frequency allocations a notification procedure may be required, and/or in not all EC countries using the equipment may be allowed.

Frequency Plans and Notification

The allocation of frequencies has not been fully harmonized in the whole EC. Therefore the usage of a certain radio equipment may or may be not allowed in a certain country (regardless the allowed sales). Any manufacturer of radio equipment should therefore assess it's frequency allocation in any EC country by consulting the local National Frequency tables. If the frequency of it's equipment is not harmonized in a specific country, a notification procedure is required. Authorities are supposed to object within 4 weeks to such a notification. 

CE-TEST services

We perform pre-compliant and compliant type testing of transmitters and receiver of most low power technologies, such as SRD, Bluetooth, Wlan, Radar up to frequencies of 12 GHz, in combination with or separate from the associated EMC and Safety standards.

We have extensive experiences in Wireless Module Integration.

Analog terminal Equipment (TBR 21)

Analog Terminal equipment such as phones and modems, need voluntary compliance with TBR 21 to make sure the equipment complies with the pan-European phone system. 

ce-test provides a test suite according to the full range of TBR-21 requirements.


The R&TTE directive will use the ce-mark current in use but adds for radio equipment the use of an "alert" symbol for equipment that is not meant to be used on the full EC territory (but may be put on the market and sold). This is mainly for frequency allocation reasons (radio-equipment), but may also be used for analog equipment being not able to function in certain countries.