Fifth MCX Plugtests Event to be Held Remotely this Fall
Friday, May 22, 2020 | Comments

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) will host its Fifth Mission Critical Services (MCX) Plugtests event remotely from 21 September to 2 October. The event was originally planned to be a face-to-face event in India but was changed to remote testing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ETSI Project Manager Saurav Arora said during a webinar sponsored by ETSI and TCCA.

The fifth MCX interoperability event will focus specifically on over-the-top (OTT) testing and will be the first MCX Plugtests event to test railway-oriented capabilities, he said. Railway features that will help enable a Future Railway Mobile Communications System (FRMCS) were included in Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15.

The event will feature three test streams: mission-critical OTT testing, FRMCS OTT testing and test tools for conformance or audio quality testing.

Previous Plugtests events were guided by ETSI Technical Specification (TS) 103 564, which provides 141 interoperability test scenarios for MCX. ETSI plans to update that specification for 3GPP Release 15, and the updated specification will include new test scenarios for mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT), mission-critical video (MCVideo), mission-critical data (MCData) and railway features with most of the new test scenarios focusing on MCVideo, said Arora.

Remote testing will be performed through the Hub for Integration and Validation at ETSI (HIVE), which the organization used for the third MCX Plugtests event, which was also held remotely. HIVE allows vendor labs to securely interconnect into ETSI’s system and connect with other vendor labs for the interoperability testing. ETSI will not remove the remote lab capabilities following the test, so it will be available to participants for more testing throughout the year, Arora said.

In addition to the testing, ETSI will organize an online observer program to provide the platform to various mission-critical stakeholders to discuss the progress of broadband and MCX services deployment, he said.

Registrations for the program are open, and the deadline to register is June 19. Following registration, there will be virtual private network (VPN) integration in August and early September. Once participants are connected, there will be two weeks of pretesting to ensure strong connectivity, followed by the two-week remote event.

The fourth MCX Plugtests event occurred in Kuopio, Finland, in September 2019 and had 117 participants who performed 1,800 test cases across more than 200 test sessions. Those sessions tested MCPTT, MCVideo, MCData, floor control, mission-critical bearers handling, multicast and more. Those tests had an overall success rate of 95%.

Find more information on and register for the fifth Plugtests event here.

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