Difference Between ETA and WPC License

  • October 07, 2023
  • Registrationwala
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In wireless communication instruments, there are two popular types of license, WPC license and ETA license. Also, the ETA term is commonly used for WPC license. These licenses are for wireless devices such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and satellite phones. To import any kind of radio-based frequency equipment to India requires permission from the WPC department. Below is the article we have shared some key differences between ETA and WPC license.

What is the WPC License?

Before understanding a WPC license, first, let’s check what a WPC commission means. The WPC stands for Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Commission. It is a national broadcasting authority that directly reports to the Ministry of Communications and Information. The primary responsibility of WPC is to issue radio licenses and monitor the radio frequency spectrum. Other than this, it offers various types of approvals and these are as follows:

  1. Equipment Type Approval: this certification is required for foreign manufacturers to set up their wireless product business in India. Here ETA ensures that these products must meet the legal standards established by the WPC authority.
  2. Type Approval: this approval makes sure that specific types of equipment must meet the technical standards and regulations.
  3. Experimental Approval: this approval is granted for conducting research and experiments on wireless communication equipment. In this, the organisations test or evaluate new technologies within an environment.
  4. Dealer and Non-dealer Possession Licenses: this license is provided to dealers and non-dealers of WPC equipment. The dealers require this license to sale and distribute such equipment and non-dealers need a license for possession and usage.
  5. Import License for Radio Equipment: this license is required to import radio equipment into India and the equipment must comply with the regulatory requirements of the WPC commission.

Note: Among all these licenses, the Equipment Type Approval (ETA) is the most significant license. The term certification of WPC is commonly in use as a general term for ETA license.

Why WPC License is Required?

To use some specific wireless communication devices and equipment, you must acquire a Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) License. The Department of Telecommunication’s (DoT) Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing issues the WPC license. The main emphasis of WPC certification are:

  1. Management of radio frequency spectrum.
  2. Allocation for various wireless communication services and devices.

The wireless equipment must comply with the technical standards, norms and frequency ranges established by regulatory authorities. A WPC license is a must for a variety of wireless devices such as Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth gadgets, cordless phones, satellite phones, and amateur radio gear.

What is an ETA License?

The Equipment Type Approval is compulsory to import wireless devices in India and they get approval from the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) department. 

The range of equipment type approval includes mobile phones, Bluetooth devices, RFID, Wi-Fi technologies, and others. 

A product operating in a frequency band with a license-free status does not need to obtain a license from WPC. To get an ETA license, submit a detailed test report of the equipment to WPC for representation.

Difference Between ETA and WPC License

The points of difference between the ETA license and the WPC license are as follows: 

1. Requirement: In order to import wireless devices into India, an Equipment Type Approval (ETA) from the WPC department is required. Any products operating in the delicensed frequency spectrum that are not WPC-certified must obtain an ETA certificate. This applies to all connected devices.

2. Scope of Licenses: The ETA approval is to certify the electronic devices that follow the rules and specifications for EMC and RF emissions. This ensures that gadgets are secure to use and are in the right working condition.

On the other hand, a WPC license helps in the distribution and administration of radio frequency spectrum for wireless devices. It checks that wireless devices must comply with all technical guidelines. And operates in the set frequency range.

3. Comply Under Different Jurisdiction: The national or regional regulatory authorities require ETA certification as per the nation or market. ETA procedures and regulations can vary between two nations. The DoT’s Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing issues a WPC license, which is only applicable in India. Also, it complies with Indian laws and spectrum management policies for wireless communication devices.

4. Purpose of License: The ETA ensures the quality, safety, and compliance of electronic devices. The main focus of this is on the actual device and checking compliance with technical regulations. 

On the other hand, the primary objective of the WPC Licence is to regulate the usage of wireless communication devices in specific frequency bands and geographical areas. However, it prevents any kind of interference and maintains effective spectrum management.


To conclude, the Indian regulatory compliance authorities and WPC check every detail before granting the WPC ETA certificate. Also obtaining a detailed report of materials or products from the laboratories about the product characteristics is important. For the Equipment Type Approval (ETA), the WPC registration required an RF testing report. We at Registrationwala, assist our clients to get a WPC ETA certificate. Reach out to us if you have any queries.


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