Interoperability certification process
The certification process is managed by TCCA’s Technical Forum (TF) with targets and priorities set jointly between users, operators and manufacturers. For each feature to be certified a TETRA Interoperability Profile (TIP) specification is created in the working groups established under the TF. The draft TIP specification subjected to open Members’ Enquiry (ME) to give all TCCA members an equal opportunity to comment it before the TIP is approved by the TF. Subsequently to the TIP a detailed Interoperability Test Plan document is produced in an identical procedure. TCCA has contracted DGTCSI-ISCTI (Directorate General for Communication Technologies and Information Security – Higher Institute of Communications and Information Technologies) laboratory of the Ministero delle Imprese e del Made in Italy (Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy), historically known as ISCOM to act as an outside certification authority, to supervise the testing sessions and to issue the certificates.
After the official certification documents are approved, test sessions can be conducted between the manufacturers. The sessions are supervised by the experts of DGTCSI-ISCTI, who then analyse the results and issue a detailed official Interoperability Certificate. The certification process is funded by the participating manufacturers.
How protocol testing is done: background on IOP certification
The results presented in the TETRA Interoperability Certificates are derived from evaluating the information exchange between live TETRA terminals and live TETRA infrastructures, this constitutes IOP certification testing. The IOP certification testing is done in a multi vendor environment testing the interaction between different brands of equipment.
The certification testing is based on IOP test plans. The IOP test plans are focused on testing the requirements of one or more corresponding TETRA Interoperability Profile (TIP).
Each TETRA Interoperability Profile (TIP) is based on ETSI TETRA standards. They primarily constitute a clarification of the ETSI TETRA standards and may impose limitation to the implementation of TETRA functionality compared to the ETSI standards. This is to achieve a market consisting of interoperable TETRA equipment.
With the currently available IOP test plans all certification testing focuses on functionality on the OSI model layers two, three and higher thus being frequency band independent. The test results derived are solely dependent on the implementation of the protocol stack, therefore if the same protocol stack is used in several pieces of equipment it may be assumed that all pieces of equipment will exhibit the same protocol behaviour and that results of testing protocol dependent functionality should be the same. The physical layer is used as means for conveying information between the terminals and the infrastructure, no physical layer functionality is evaluated.
Testing of frequency band related functionality is part of the type approval testing.