TCCA: Broadband Equipment Requires Interoperability Testing, Certification
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 | Comments

The TCCA outlined the various product-testing processes in an online article. TCCA developed the interoperability (IOP) testing and certification process to enable a trusted, open multivendor market for TETRA equipment.

TCCA said an interoperability testing and certification process for critical communications broadband equipment — with a similar trust level as that of the TETRA IOP — still needs to be developed. Protocol verification, which is part of conformance testing, alone will not be sufficient. Specific scenarios such as group call, private call, emergency call, and pre-emption should be tested. To allow vendors to implement the same set of options from the standards and then to test these, the vendors and users need to agree on a road map for the implementation of the various options from the standards, based on prioritized uses cases, ensuring operation in live situations.

For continued interoperability testing for voice and critical communications broadband equipment, various testing initiatives such as plugtests, conformance testing, certification testing and product interoperability testing are needed, TCCA said.

Plugtests are the first and initial verification of implementations of new standards and protocols, serving as a validation of the standard and early practical test of the participating vendors and their implementations. They allow identification of major ambiguities or misunderstandings in the interpretation of the standards, leading to a common understanding of how a standard has to be implemented.

Conformance testing covers activities that determine whether a process, product or service complies with the requirements of a specification, technical standard, contract or regulation. Conformance is also tested toward protocols.

Interoperability testing ensures that a product from one vendor works together with a product from another vendor and vice-versa.

Certification is the formal declaration of conformance or interoperability and demonstrates that a mobile phone or wireless product is compliant with a standard and works together with other vendors’ products.

For critical communications broadband devices, the TCCA engaged with the Global Certification Forum (GCF) to develop testing and certification for mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) services operating on the devices. GCF certification demonstrates that a mobile phone or connected device conforms with mobile standards.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) use GCF certification as a foundation for their own testing. For MCPTT, the certification process will test the mobile device with the installed MCPTT client application against a MCPTT application server simulator to certify a basic subset of the MCPTT functionality.

Other examples for protocol conformance testing are the Wi-Fi Forum and Bluetooth (BT) Forum testing, which provide testing and certification against the Wi-Fi and BT standards.

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