The first test cases required for an LTE device certification scheme have been validated and approved by GCF, the Global Certification Forum.
Designed to give operators confidence in the interoperability of LTE devices across different networks, GCF’s Certification scheme will embrace both FDD and TDD versions of LTE.
Bringing the sophisticated new technology of LTE within the scope of GCF Certification is a complex undertaking involving the selection, prioritisation and validation of more than 280 conformance tests in the first instance.
Once selected by GCF, test cases are developed and verified by a relevant standards body to ensure that they correctly contribute to the objective assessment of the operation of a device. Validation is the final stage in assuring the robustness of a GCF test case. This entails the test case implementation on a specific commercial test platform being validated by an independent test house against the core specifications. This process gives the assurance that GCF test cases running on GCF recognised test platforms will correctly test a device for GCF certification.
Ten test cases relating to the air interface between an LTE device and the network base station, and running on the R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester from Rohde & Schwarz were approved at the meeting of the GCF Conformance and Interoperability Agreement Group (GCF CAG) in Sophia Antipolis on January 26-27, 2010. The validation was undertaken by 7 layers AG. Immediately following the meeting, the same ten tests have also made available from Anite on its “Conformance Toolset” test solution which was validated by CETECOM.
“The validation of the first ten LTE test cases is an important step towards our target of delivering an LTE Certification scheme in time for the wave of network launches anticipated towards the end of 2010,” said Adriana Nugter, GCF Operations Manager. ”The fact that two test systems have now validated test cases is evidence of the significant commitment and investment from the test industry towards the successful introduction of LTE.”
Established in 1999, GCF has a total membership of more than 200, including many of the world’s most influential telecommunications companies from the operator, device manufacturer and test industry communities. (Rohde & Schwarz, 7layers, Anite and CETECOM are all members of GCF.) With its “test once, use anywhere” ethos, GCF certification accelerates time to market for new devices based on 3GPP standards while reducing costs for manufacturers, operators and, ultimately, end-users. For both GSM and 3G, GCF certification has underpinned international roaming.