ETSI, with the support of TCCA and the European Commission completed the third Mission Critical Services (MCPTT, MCData, MCVideo) Plugtests™ at the end of January. The latest in the series of tests was the first to be carried out remotely and included MCPTT, mission critical data (MCDATA) and mission critical video (MCVideo), collectively referred to as MCX. As the only control room provider in the tests, Frequentis, was able to demonstrate key functionalities for command and control.
The goal of the event series is to validate the 3GPP (third generation partners project) standard of Mission Critical Services, provide a platform for vendors to test their implementation and products, and finally achieve a single, interoperable, global standard for mission critical communication. The new MCPTT global standard will replace legacy group communication systems, including VHF, TETRA, P25, iDEN, among others. Based on LTE architecture, it will be available to governmental institutions, public safety organisations as well as commercial users.
“Collaboration is critical in the validation and implementation of a mission critical communication standard. By working together on this common goal, we can ensure interoperability and a smooth implementation of these standards.” Says Robert Nitsch, Vice President Public Safety
This was the first of the three plug tests to be completed remotely and over the course of two months, 1000 test cases were run between 26 Vendors with a 92% success rate.
MCPTT fosters a faster response and enhanced situational awareness in the event of a disaster. In the first plugtests in June 2017 Frequentis and its technology partners, Austrian mobile radio provider A1, Italian LTE mobile core network provider Athonet and Spanish MCPTT application provider Nemergent, united to demonstrate the rapid establishment of a safety-critical LTE communication infrastructure during a serious incident. It was a breakthrough demonstration in mission-critical mobile services as it pioneered services based on the latest 3GPP standards such as MCPTT.
In June 2018, the second ETSI MCPTT Plugtest event saw a very hands-on approach to testing. Here 31 vendors completed more than 2,000 tests in Disaster City, Texas, across more than 300 combinations of vendors and equipment, achieving a 92 per cent success rate. Frequentis, the only control room provider in the tests, worked alongside Leonardo, Bittium, Hytera, Nemergent and Funkwerk to demonstrate the interoperability crucial functions, e.g. group call, floor control and affiliation of audio systems to provide critical voice communications over LTE.
All plugtests were executed on the MCPTT server to server reference point showing interworking within MCPTT application servers of controlling role and MCPTT application servers of participating role of different vendors. This test setting has the potential to deploy crucial control room functions with a given standard reference point without defining specific (and mostly proprietary) control interfaces. Furthermore, this standard reference point also facilitates interworking with legacy radio systems as required for the transition phase.
The fourth plug tests, MCX#4, will take place in Kuopio, Finland from September 23-27, 2019. The Plugtest is hosted by State Security Networks Group Finland.
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