UPDATE What is being heralded as the first mission-critical-push-to-talk (MCPTT) test case successfully evaluated is also seen as the first step towards a global MCS certification program adhering to 3GPP standards. By setting new parameters for the service, the researchers hope to provide first responders with a more consistent and reliable means of communication.
According to the Critical Communications Review, the test case completed last week, involved a TTCN-3 tester from the project Mission Critical Testing as a Service (MCS-TaaSting) and a Mission Critical Services (MCX) client. 3GPP’s MCX over IP Test Model was used to successfully evaluate one of the most complex test cases involving all the initial configuration, authorization, authentication and registration steps as defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a collective of seven telecommunications standard development organizations, in Release 14.
“This announcement is the result of the last nine months’ joint effort of a group of both MCS standards and protocol testing experts and MCS providers to carefully analyze and double check even the smallest detail in 3GPP standards and resulting TTCN-3 reference implementation,” said Dr. Fidel Liberal, MCS-TaaSting Project Coordinator. “The successful compilation and demonstration of the first test case based on the 3GPP TTCN-3 official delivery marks a significant milestone towards building a MCS certification program.”
FirstNet launched the first mission-critical standards-based Push-to-Talk (PTT) feature nationwide in April of 2020. The feature is designed to enable public safety professionals to use their smartphones, feature phones, and specialized ultra-rugged devices like they would use a two-way radio.
The Cranford Police Department in New Jersey was one of the first state agencies to test PTT. Inside Towers checked in with the Cranford PD to see how they were putting the new application to use. “It’s working really well,” said Captain Guy Patterson, “we had a chance to to test the mission-critical version after trying the others and each one has better than the last.” Patterson said the system became particularly useful during recent tropical storm Isaiah when repeaters were down and they could get through by any other means than their FirstNet connection.
3GPP has defined the MCPTT/MCData/MCVideo services business (also known as either MCS or MCX) and both the industry and end-users have been calling for clear certification programs that use standardized conformance testing tools, reports Critical Communications Review. This successful pre-verification is the first time a TTCN-3 tester has been used to fully implement a MCPTT test case. TTCN-3 is an ETSI standardized testing language adopted by the broadband industry for implementing conformance test cases.
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