Fourth MCX Plugtests Event Sees 95% Success Rate in Validating Interoperability
Monday, September 30, 2019 | Comments

The Fourth ETSI MCX Plugtests concluded with a success rate of 95% in the validation of Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) mission-critical services vendor interoperability. These tests are essential to ensure seamless access to mission-critical services over 4G networks across different vendors’ products and implementations.

The MCX European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Plugtests series, which collectively covers mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT), mission-critical video (MCVideo) and mission-critical data (MCData) services, is the first independent testing of public-safety and other mission-critical Long Term Evolution (LTE). The preparations for the fourth Plugtests started in April 2019, which was followed by remote testing over the summer, and were finalized with a five-day face-to-face session held at the end of September in Kuopio, Finland, at the Savonia University of Applied Sciences.

The tests were based on 3GPP Release 14, and more than 1,800 tests were executed among the different vendors in more than 210 test sessions. For this event, the observers created test scenarios, which will be added to the ETSI TS 103 564 test specification. The updated test specification will be published after ETSI’s TETRA and Critical Communications Evolution (TCCE) committee approves it.

Besides the MCPTT, MCData and MCVideo application servers and clients, the testing also included user equipment (UE), LTE networks with eNodeBs, evolved packet cores (EPC), IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) and evolved multimedia broadcast multicast services (eMBMS) components and testing of floor control, affiliation, mission-critical bearers handling, multicast, and server-to-server communications.

The observations from the Plugtests events provide essential feedback to 3GPP working groups as work continues on mission-critical communication specifications.

The fourth MCX Plugtests was organized by ETSI in partnership with State Security Networks Group Finland (Erillisverkot) with the support of TCCA and the European Commission.

Vendor participants included Aina Wireless, Airbus DS SLC, Alea, Armour Communications, Athonet, Bittium, Ecom Instruments, Enensys-Expway, Ericsson, Etelm, Frequentis, Funkwerk Systems, Genaker, Havelsan, Huawei Technologies, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Kontron Transportation, L3Harris Technologies, Leonardo, Mission Critical Open Platform (MCOP)-University of the Basque Country, Motorola Solutions, Nemergent Solutions, ng-voice, one2many, Polaris Networks, Prescom, Samsung Electronics, Softil, StreamWide, TASSTA, and valid8.com.

In parallel to the testing, Erillisverkot organized an observer program for the observers who came from user organizations, public-safety operators, government organizations and associations from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Norway, the Netherlands and the United States. The observer program consisted of presentations, roundtable discussions and a visit to the local emergency services training center.

Observers were Belgium national operator Astrid, Erillisverkot, the French Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Global Certification Forum (GCF), the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Pelastusopisto – Emergency Services Academy Finland, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, SMIT - IT and Development Center at Estonian Ministry of the Interior, TCCA, the National Police of the Netherlands and the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB).

ETSI has started to organize the fifth MCX Plugtests and is discussing venues and dates with potential hosts.

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