Hi Librem and users!
I’m really looking forward to use Librem 5 because it is just the phone I have ever wanted — free, happy hacking, and clean phone!
Now, in Japan, you have to get “Giteki mark” that indicates the phone supports Japanese radio acts regulation.
if the phone supports FCC, then the machine meets the specification of the regulation automatically I hope, but anyway, you got to issue papers to Japanese public office to ask the rights to show the mark.
Most certainly not (yet), except for the WiFi/BT/Modem parts.
It was never mentioned and you’re the first Japanese user I notice here.
You should direct your request to email@example.com and ideally know ten other users who want this
Same opinion as Caliga: Please write an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I don’t think they are aware of this. I just read a bit about the Giteki mark (技適マーク) and it seems you really need to do the tests involved separately as they are slightly different - the FCC or CE mark alone is not enough to qualify for the Giteki mark.
As you said, without this mark, it would be illegal to use the Librem 5 in Japan as a Japanese citizen. But this does not include tourists staying in Japan up to 90 days as I have read.
In the U.S. it looks like you can get the Giteki mark via ACB (American Certification Body Inc.).
And if you need other people who are interested for the Librem 5 to get the Giteki mark, please count me in. I’d be really unhappy to leave my Librem 5 behind the next time I go to Japan for a prolonged time
Is that for the entire PC, or just the Bluetooth addon or the wi-fi card? Take this as an example: you have some small shop (family-owned?) based around PC repairs and building. They might build and sell PCs or have a service where you can take in your own PC to get it upgraded.
If this hypothetical business offers the option of a wi-fi card in their PCs, would they need to get a Giteki mark for the entire PC? Likewise, if someone brings in their older computer and says “I’d like you to upgrade the video card and give me a wi-fi card”, would such a certification be needed for the entire machine in that case? Or would a Giteki mark only be needed for the wi-fi card which this shop installs?
A similar thing can be said if you upgrade your own computer. If you get a USB bluetooth dongle or PCI wi-fi adapter, will your entire computer need a Giteki mark, or is that only needed for the addon?
The reason being is that the modem and the wi-fi/BT module are expansion cards. They go into the internal slots, but they are still separate units (and not just on a technicality, it was explicitly designed from the start for each radio unit to be a separate device for security purposes). If a Giteki mark is not required for the entire aggregate device but only for the radio modules, then you should be fine - provided that the cellular and wi-fi cards have the correct certification.
EDIT: the purpose of this massive wall of text was to try and reduce the problem to a lesser one. If only the radio modules need certification, and if it’s possible to obtain Japan-certified modules, then it would in that case be possible to use the device.
(I say all of this, but after doing some reading it seems as though neither the cellular nor the wi-fi radio have the appropriate certifications)
Sorry I wrote the message before researching enough.
Now I have learned something.
For PCs, it is fine if the wireless module has the Giteki mark.
If it is built-in, you got to open the cover to see the module to check the mark.
This is the WiFi module in the ASUS chromebook and it is Giteki certified.
But most makers which want to make business in Japan print the COPY of the Giteki mark on the cover of the machine for the convenience.
The other day, a shop sold the GPD Pocket 2 PC without Giteki mark by mistake and the shop decided to recall the non-Giteki model and exchange it to the Giteki ready one.
Please refer to the Japanese web page. This is the press release relating to this topic.
At the bottom of the page, you see the 3 pictures.
The left two is the picture of the legal model with the COPY of the mark.
The right one is the picture of the illegal one.
(For this case, the illegal model did not have the mark on the built-in module too.)
For the Bluetooth dongle you can put in the USB port, you shall see the mark on the top of it because it is a pure radio wave transmitter.
Please refer this blog,
You see the picture of the mark on the plug.
For the cellphone, you shall see the COPY of the mark on the cover of it.
But the law allows the maker can show it electronically — if you find it in the option setting screen etc., it’s OK.
Even if some Japanese use the imported cellphone/Bluetooth device/PC without the Giteki mark, the police won’t catch them.
Because the police cannot distinguish the machine because the radio wave is compatible.
But if some Japanese blogger writes the blog or SNS message “I got an imported cellphone and it’s cool!” then soon the vigilant on the net will find him and make the flame and the police might be interested.
The JATE certification is not enough I heard.
It is just an private certification organization.
To obtain the Giteki mark, you got to pass the test by the national organization (Soumushou 総務省)
In my opinion, because the Librem 5 is more akin to the Asus chromebook in regards to it being more modular. Swapping modems/wifi cards in cell phones isn’t really practical let alone opening most phones. In this way like the chromebook, having the stamp on your wireless communication cards should suffice.
Now I don’t see the Giteki certification on either of the two modem manufactures offered by Purism but in my search for a more compatible modem for myself I found the EM06. There is an EM06-J which has the KDDI carrier certification. I also found a stock image of the J variant which seems to have your Giteki mark.
Finding a suitable wifi card on the local Japanese market shouldn’t be to hard either. Maybe spend an hour in Akihabara? Its been a decade since I was last there but I remember you could find almost any part there.
I got the same answer from Purism support. It’s a bit sad, but to be expected: Don’t know how much Japanese customers pre-ordered the Librem 5, but I would assume there’s just not enough interest to justify a certification at the moment.
I think I would buy the phone nevertheless and look for suitable M.2 cards. As a last resort, the phone has kill-switches: so you can always say that you only use it without wifi/bluetooth/cellular
Hi Kareema, thank you for a reply.
Please allow me to ask you two questions.
Did you ask the question about Japanese Giteki too? Or else did you ask one about German corresponding certification? If in the later case, please tell me the name of the certification?
What is the M.2 card? Do you attempt to try to open the phone, replace the M.2 connected cellular modem, and use it legally? I don’t know whether I can do it ??
As a last resort, the phone has kill-switches: so you can always say that you only use it without wifi/bluetooth/cellular
I agree with it partially.
The pocketable GNU/Linux machine is too tempting even if you cannot use any radio wave.
However, I hesitate to order it immediately,
IF Purism is planning to obtain our certification, but they got to update the H/W, and if I already got it, it would be problem… I don’t want to ask return/exchange via international air cargo.
This is why I want them to announce about it to the international and potential users, but they don’t do it so far…
I asked them about the Japanese Giteki and the answer was: “Not any time soon. We are aware of Giteki but ATM it is not within plan or reach.”
For Germany, we have the CE mark and if I understand it correctly, there will only be a FCC and CE certification for the radio cards until batch Dogwood. The first batch with full FCC and CE certification of the whole device will come with batch Evergreen. At least this is how I understood it from the Librem 5 Shipping Announcement:
M.2 is a specification for expansion cards and the corresponding connectors. There are different form factors and keyings for M.2, so you have to keep that in mind:
It seems that the WiFi and Bluetooth are on an M.2 2230 card and the modem is on a M.2 3042 card in the Librem 5. The information is from the following article:
For the Japanese market, you could take a closer look at the Quectel LTE-A EM06-J. But it seems that you’d need to find a reseller as Quectel only sells the M.2 card in bigger batches.
I’m not affiliated with Purism, so I don’t know about their plans for the future. But I really think that it will cost Purism too much to obtain the Giteki mark at the moment. It would require a large number of orders from Japan to cover the cost of certification. I think the Japanese market could be a big one in the future, but currently there’s not enough demand for devices like the Librem 5 from Japan as it seems.
In contrast the CE mark is for the whole EU and a rather large part of the pre-orders come from Europe as it seems, so this was much easier to cover for Purism. For more details about the CE mark, you can take a look at
By the way, the English Wikipedia article about the CE mark is better.
Not long ago and perhaps even nowadays, we had (or still have?) similar national certifications in Germany. The move to European standards helped a good bit. But I really hope that there will be global standards in the future.
Especially for companies wanting to deliver their products globally, national standards are really a pain. Often the same devices are sold worldwide without modification, but you have to get different certifications that cost a lot of money for each of the different regions of the world you plan to sell your products.
But back to the topic: Unfortunately you will be on your own with the decision. In your place, I would not hope for a Giteki certification in the near future. So your best bet probably would be to order a phone if you really want one and look if you can get some compatible M.2 cards for the phone. As I don’t have my Librem 5 yet, I don’t know how easy it will be to open the phone and replace the M.2 cards. Perhaps you could ask Purism support about this and what happens with warranty if you open the phone and replace the M.2 cards. I don’t think that the latter would be a problem.
The “MM-M500” series from Seiko Solutions Inc. M.2 type LTE communication module is for domestic use only (Japan) but I don’t know if it can be made workable on Librem 5 especially if someone is not an expert like @query1000. It supports data, SMS, voice (VoLTE), etc. Otherwise and from information already provided on this forum it is very questionable if Quectel EM06JLA-512-SGAD default firmware supports voice communication.
@query1000, as you are already in contact with Purism, why not to ask directly if you could buy one MM-M50D M.2 modem card (or some other if technically …) and send it to them (of course you need to coordinate everything before with your correspondence) to check it for you … if it is compatible with the Librem 5. If I were in your situation I would invest in such purchase of one M.2 card for Japan usage (only), send it to Purism (if they say yes) and even if it shows as not adequate you know where you stand with it. But if the answer from Purism, after testing your M.2 modem card, comes as positive than you should commit yourself to buy one Librem 5 (with your M.2 modem card). Query1000, this is just my thought that you might try to work around … or otherwise you might be relatively long looking where to find and upgrade a used Librem 5. You will need some patience anyway!
You are right that something like the Giteki mark is the responsibility of the cell phone maker and it shouldn’t be the problem of the customer to bother with that. The problem in the case of Purism is, that they are new to the smartphone market and that it’s their first phone - and they are a quite small company. At the moment, they have their hands full delivering the phone to the customers.
In my case, I have been intrigued by the idea of a Linux based, freedom respecting smartphone for some years now. And I am happy to see some success in this department: Some years ago with the GTA04 and now with the Librem 5 and Pinephone. For this, I don’t mind waiting a bit longer or investing some time and money.
I understand your position and I hope that Purism will consider getting the Giteki mark in the near future, so that the phone can be legally sold in Japan as well. Thank you very much for bringing up the topic in this forum, writing Purism about this and taking all the time to do the research around the Giteki mark. A lot of this has been new information for me as well.
Nowadays, many people in Japan are criticizing Giteki that is a barrier to prevent to introduce the new things from the world.
The politicians and bureaucrats are aware of that and to meet the trend of information society, globalism and smartphone booming, they are considering to remove it, I believe.
(There must be a resistance from domestic makers and old men, though…)
Now I think there’s not so much thing I can do so far, so I will wait.
Anyway, I will keep watching librem’s news and this forum.