GCF officially certifies broadband mission-critical services


Monday, 17 June, 2024

GCF officially certifies broadband mission-critical services

The Global Certification Forum (GCF) has announced that it is adding 3GPP-based mission-critical services, also known as MCS or MCX, to its certification program.

MCS and critical communications provide essential voice and data connectivity to first responders, public safety services, transportation sectors and more. The next generation of MCS, also known as broadband MCS, are being delivered over LTE cellular networks and evolving towards 5G, thus providing the services required for emergency response.

With this new certification, MCS operators and service providers can be sure of the quality and compliance of devices and services. This will facilitate the development of an ecosystem of MC services with multiple interoperable providers.

“This new MCS certification follows a multiyear collaboration between GCF and TCCA [The Critical Communications Association], and the members of both organisations at Mission Critical Services Work Stream,” said Lars Nielsen, CEO at GCF. “For the first time, MCS product vendors can demonstrate conformance of different MCS clients and servers based on global standards maintained by 3GPP.”

The MCS certification is open to device manufacturers and MCS client vendors who are already active in GCF or are joining the organisation. The certification was subject to activation of WI-288 (Mission Critical Push-to-Talk) in a new GCF-CC version (Conformance Criteria), after the GCF Conformance Agreement Group meeting on 4 June.

“Following several years of work from members of TCCA and GCF, we now have an agreement, at industry level, on how to prove compliance of mission-critical services to the market — based on standards with the highest quality requirements,” said Kevin Graham, CEO at TCCA.

Beyond this initial announcement, the certification scope for mission-critical services will continue evolving to support additional releases (such as 3GPP Rel.15) and standards-based services such as MCData and MCVideo.

Image credit: iStock.com/GOCMEN

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