Standards in Interoperability Discussions at Interop 2024

Recently, the Texas A&M University ITEC Interoperability Institute hosted Interop 2024, a gathering of industry leaders focused on first responder communication. The event included workshops, exercises and demonstrations, enabling attendees to connect with other industry professionals and learn about innovations in first responder technologies.

Along with an exhibition and demonstration at the event, Valid8 participated in a panel session, “The Role of Standards in Interoperability”. Ian Carpenter, CEO of Valid8, joined panelists representing TCCA, ITEC, BVOG, and Juvare as they shared insights on the importance of standards and testing.

Test Specification Documents are an Important Component of Standards

The advent of new technologies and communications tools has created a tremendous opportunity for efficient sharing of data and video, as well as collaboration among first responders. These innovations bring the need for international system standards to ensure technologies from different vendors will interact reliably.

Recent efforts to develop standards have revealed the importance of defining not only the protocol operating standards, but also the test standards required to prove compliance.

Clear standards are critical and not simply system and protocol definitions but also test definitions. A lack of clearly defined test specifications from the onset can cause a divergence from the protocol standards. Entrenched vendors in the industry may continue to implement their features and potentially introduce proprietary extensions that make interoperability difficult.   Issues that aren’t caught until much later in the process. These scenarios create a barrier to entry for new vendors, stifling competition and innovation.

Clearly defined standards that include test specifications can speed compliance, drive greater vendor participation, and encourage rapid innovation.  When vendors understand the tests that need to be performed to comply with standards, they are better able to leverage testing technology like Valid8 to streamline their process and confidently deliver compliant technologies.

It is encouraging to see that critical communication standards being developed today, in MCX, for example, the overall process will include test standards . This will streamline testing and provide vendors with a clear path to proving compliance.

Experience is Leaving the Industry

As with many industries, leaders with a lifetime of experience are preparing to retire. These operators hold a wealth of testing knowledge and expertise, much of which is not recorded. Losing that knowledge can have a real impact on organizations in longer test cycles and more resource requirements. As these experienced operators start to transition, it is important to apply their experience and knowledge before it goes away.

Automated test suites from Valid8 have experience built in from 100s of implementations, with tips to resolve any issues that may be uncovered.  In addition, Valid8 has experts who can help when those issues arise.

Learn more about Valid8 for Critical Communication Testing

Valid8 is on the forefront of testing for critical communications, offering a broad range of configurable and cost-effective mission critical testing solutions. Our automated tests can be run over 5G, 4G or ethernet, enabling configuration based on internal company expertise.

Valid8 delivers broad testing capabilities across the key areas of critical communications.

Valid8’s MCX solutions enable testing of SIP, Diameter, MBMS GTP and RTP/RTCP with Floor Control on the 4G/5G mobile network up to 3GPP Rel 16. It includes test scenarios for MC-PTT (Push-to-talk), MC-Data and MC-Video.

Valid8’s NG911 emulation includes emulation of the entire network including Mobile Caller, LNG, BCF, ESRP, ECRF, LIS, PSAP, Default PSAP.

Valid8 P25 ISSI CSSI Conformance Suites are suitable for testing MCX IWF compliance to standards for CAP, TIA, IETF in the P25 domain and include an implementation of the P25 CAP ISSI/CSSI Conformance Test Tool (ICC Test Tool / ICCTT).  The company has been an active participant in the annual ETSI MCX Plugtest events.

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