ETSI, TCCA to hold European MCPTT interoperability trials

ETSI, TCCA to hold European MCPTT interoperability trials

The first interoperability test sessions for mission-critical LTE equipment are set to take place later this month at the ETSI headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, France.

In partnership with the TCCA, the representative body for the global critical communications community, and supported by the European Commission, the ETSI Mission Critical Push-to-Talk (MCPTT) Plugtests event is “the first step towards ensuring that equipment from different vendors designed to support mission-critical users will work together,” said ETSI.

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 catalysed by the work of the TCCA to ensure that LTE supports mission-critical communications, with MCPTT now specified in 3GPP Release 13.

“The goal of the MCPTT Plugtests event is to validate the interoperability of different solutions using various scenarios and test cases,” ETSI has said in an official statement. “The tests will be based on 3GPP, ETSI and IETF standards, and are designed to trial independently and jointly all components of the MCPTT communication chain such as group call, floor control, unicast and multicast communication.”

Interoperability and MCPTT service harmonisation are critical challenges to be taken into account for the successful deployment and operation of mission-critical communication over LTE. All major players offering standards-based solutions within the MCPTT ecosystem have joined the event.

Although the PMR market shows no signs of slowing, mission-critical broadband LTE will offer complementary capabilities, and its market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20%, from $1.1 billion in 2015 to $2.6 billion in 2020, according to IHS Market. Planned nationwide rollouts in the United States, South Korea, the UK, the Middle East and Asian countries are expected to trigger significant large-scale investments in mission-critical LTE.

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