TCCA publishes interoperability guidelines


TCCA has published a white paper outlining the steps which it says need to be taken within the sector to certify mission critical broadband solutions.

Amongst other suggestions, the organisation advocates initiatives such as the ETSI Plugtests, as well as testing around conformance, software and interoperability. The paper also outlines what can be certified by a TCCA process, as well as certification required by providers around ‘mission critical’ criteria such as network availability, priority, pre-emption, security and coverage.
The move follows the formation earlier in the month of a joint MCX certification task force, by TCCA working in collaboration with the Global Certification Forum (GCF). Other related developments include the US National Institute of Standards and Technology granting funding to facilitate certification, and TCCA member the University of the Basque Country being chosen to develop a test simulator over the next two years.
Speaking of the importance of the certification and testing process, Jeppe Jepsen, TCCA Board co-vice chair and director of broadband spectrum said: “TCCA’s TETRA IOP has been running successfully for more than 20 years, and will continue to do so. The IOP environment for critical broadband however is very different, as the hardware and software are separated, both on the infrastructure and on devices. 
“This means different business models and new complexities which the sector will need to negotiate. We encourage all interested parties to offer their support.”
A spokesperson for TCCA said: “The advances in the standardisation of critical broadband, and the increasing adoption of 4G/LTE-based services by critical users, are catalysing the requirement for interoperability certification. As demonstrated by the success of TCCA’s TETRA Interoperability Certification process (IOP), this approach ensures an open and competitive market with multi-vendor supply.
“A multi-vendor market gives benefits to the users in terms of the broadest product portfolio of compatible equipment, competitive pricing and rapid entry of new product models. It also benefits the industry in terms of a wider accessible market, faster market take-up and better directed investment in new product developments.”
The next face-to-face ETSI MCX Plugtests are planned for April–May of this year, at an as yet unconfirmed location.
The TCCA paper, which is titled Introduction to Mission Critical Service Interoperability, can be downloaded here.

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