The first ETSI Mission Critical Push to Talk (MCPTT) Plugtests™ event – interoperability test sessions for mission-critical LTE equipment – concluded on Friday, June 23, 2017 with 140 participants from 19 vendors. The event was held at the ETSI headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, France, in partnership with the TCCA, the representative body for the global critical communications community. The test sessions were observed by seven government and public safety network operator organizations from Belgium, Finland, France, Norway and the UK.
More than 1000 tests were conducted, with a success rate of 85%. The tests were based on 3GPP, ETSI and IETF standards. For the first session, a test specification has been developed for the 3GPP Release 13 MCPTT, comprising 47 test cases.
As commercial products are developed, the TCCA will implement the vendor certification process for mission-critical products and applications, including MCPTT. “Our key goal is to have one global standard for MCPTT,” said Phil Kidner, CEO of the TCCA.
The final tests of the MCPTT Plugtests event included pre-arranged and chat mode Group Calls, which involved several MCPTT clients, a Control Room, a LTE cab radio and a TETRA radio.
“This first event demonstrates the commitment of the industry to ensuring that mission-critical LTE equipment adheres to open standards and will be thoroughly tested to ensure complete user confidence once commercial products are available,” said Harald Ludwig, chair of the TCCA’s Technical Forum.
Supported by the European Commission, these sessions are the first in the world to test the interoperability of MCPTT products and services, and are conducted to ensure that equipment from different vendors designed to support mission-critical users will work together.
Push-to-Talk (PTT) is a standard feature of narrowband Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) technologies developed specifically for mission-critical communications. PTT enables near instantaneous group communications – a critical requirement in an emergency situation. To ensure that such capability is built in to LTE services, 3GPP has been catalyzed by the work of the TCCA to ensure that LTE supports mission-critical communications, with MCPTT now specified in 3GPP Release 13.