In a major step forward, the Global Certification Forum (GCF) and TCCA have created a joint taskforce to move certification forward for Mission Critical Push to Talk (MCPTT), Mission Critical Data (MCData) and Mission Critical Video (MCVideo) implementations, collectively known as MCX or MCS (Mission Critical Services). The initial actions of the taskforce will be completed by mid-2020.
Without an agreed interoperability testing and certification system in place, each Mission Critical (MC) service provider will have to test all relevant elements and their interactions thoroughly, resulting in the same tests being done for the same elements at multiple locations. This means extra costs to suppliers, operators and users. Beyond that, the vendors may end up implementing different variants of the same products with the corresponding need to maintain them.
“Today’s news confirms the importance of mission critical devices, networks and services as part of GCF’s overall certification programme,” said Lars Nielsen, CEO at GCF. “A device that meets all certification requirements for the technology bands and features it supports, gives confidence that everything possible has been done by the manufacturer to guarantee delivery of the highest quality of service for users. This is of paramount importance within the realms of public safety and we look forward to rolling out the testing and certification specifics with TCCA during the coming year.”
The taskforce, open to members from both GCF and TCCA, currently has support from the following organisations: Airbus, Alea, Anritsu, Dekra, DSB, du, Ericsson, German Federal Agency for Public Safety Digital Radio (BDBOS), ETSI, French Gendarmerie, Frequentis, Huawei, Hytera, IoTAS, Keysight, Leonardo, Motorola Solutions, MultiTech, Nemergent Solutions, Orange, Police Netherlands, Pro-M, Samsung, SmartViser, Sprint, Suomen Erillisverkot, Swissphone, Telecom Italia, UK Home Office, Umlaut, University of the Basque Country, and Zetron.
The taskforce will look at the following areas: the availability of suitable conformance test equipment for MC products; enabling a certification process to be developed with inputs from the MC vendors, users and operators of MC networks; ensuring end to end interoperability and security of MC products (devices and servers), applications, services and networks, and the management and governance of the joint MC certification.