MCX Testing Project Reaches Certification Milestone for MCPTT Test Cases
Monday, November 15, 2021 | Comments

Funded by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Mission Critical Services - Testing as a Service (MCS-TaaSting) project announced that 60% of mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) conformance test cases have been formally verified.

This is the trigger required by certification organizations to activate their mission-critical services (MCX) conformance certification programs to meet procurement requirements from mission-critical operators and users.

A comprehensive certification program helps to establish a stable market for mission-critical services deployment and is essential to ensure that critical broadband devices and services conform to the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. Conformance testing is required to verify the correct operation of key interfaces between devices and between the device and the mobile network. Field trials are used to complement laboratory testing and witness the device and services behavior in live multivendor commercial networks.

Test case verification is achieved using 3GPP’s Radio Access Network (RAN) 5 working group’s defined MCX IPCAN model, the only accepted standards-based process for full verification of MCX test cases. 3GPP defined the MCPTT, mission-critical data (MCData) and mission-critical video (MCVideo) services ecosystem, known collectively as either MCS or MCX, and both the industry and end-users have been calling for clear certification programs that use standardized conformance testing tools in order to accelerate trusted deployments. 3GPP’s RAN5 working group works on the specification of conformance testing at the radio interface for the user equipment and defined the test cases to assess the mission critical-related functionality.

Using the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) TTCN-3 language ensures the guidelines designed by 3GPP and certification bodies are followed. These compliance testing processes are widely adopted in the consumer mobile world and typically require the evaluation of the underlying LTE network and associated signaling. In order to adapt those requirements to the needs of mission critical operators and users, the MCX IPCAN model was defined, resulting in significant additional complexity in the tester.

"MCX certification tools and programs are becoming a reality,” said MCS-TaasTing Project Coordinator Fidel Liberal. “We can today provide end users and industry with flexible, ‘pay as you test’ conformance testing tools following exactly the standards certification process. It is time for end users to start including conformance certification requirements into their tenders and product acceptance processes, and for industry to integrate conformance testing into their development and delivery processes.”

The formally verified test cases utilize the IP connectivity access network (IPCAN) model on the TTCN-3 tester from MCS-TaaSting with components from UPV/EHU, Enensys and GridGears and MCX client from Nemergent Solutions. Would you like to comment on this story? Find our comments system below.

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