GCF Continues Push to Certify Mission-Critical Devices
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 | Comments

Global Certification Forum (GCF) plans to highlight progress made since it signed a memorandum of understanding with TCCA last year that pledged to advance developments in areas related to Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) mission-critical services.

The forum highlighted the importance of using GCF-certified devices for quality and interoperability while benefitting from lower test costs and faster time to market. GCF will provide insight into mission-critical communications certification as part of the wider Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G program at Critical Communications World (CCW) later this month.

GCF-certified products have been rigorously assessed for conformance to industry standards, not just for the core radio layers but for calls, messaging and internet access. For the emergency services sector, the underlying core technologies must be evaluated as well as the mission-critical applications.

Since collaborating with TCCA, GCF introduced a new member category, mission-critical communications operator, to its program to allow mission-critical operators to gain access to information on GCF-certified products and to contribute to the ongoing development of the scope of GCF certification.

“The quality and service reliability advantages gained from ensuring interoperability of mobile devices is well documented, with data proving that our members’ products have up to 20% fewer dropped calls than non-certified products,” said Lars Nielsen, general manager of GCF. “To date, there has not been a lot of awareness of the benefits of certification in this vital sector, so by attending the show with TCCA, we want to give attendees a chance to discuss with both organizations how we can help to improve service to their customers and lower costs. With mission-critical devices, certification against 3GPP standards is paramount, and we have now made this easily accessible.”

Public-safety agencies are increasingly using public carrier networks for the provision of mission-critical services, and this trend is creating pressure to consolidate all required functionality for mission-critical voice and data communications, as well as the specific capabilities of two-way radio devices into a single handset.

The mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT) community has specific requirements, and emergency services network operators, device suppliers and the test industry are encouraged to get involved with GCF to certify products and use GCF-certified products in their networks as part of a broader strategy to build reliable, high-quality services for critical communications users, TCCA officials said.

“At TCCA we are continually evolving our ecosystem to benefit all our stakeholders, doing everything we can to ensure that critical communications operate efficiently across the world,” said Tony Gray, chief executive at TCCA. “With GCF, we have been steadily developing a dedicated program for broadband device certification with the goal of dramatically improving the deployment of critical communications broadband devices now and in the future.”

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