NIST's Public Safety Communications Research division (PSCR) awarded three applicants the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program: Mission Critical Voice Test Equipment (PSIAP-MCVTE) funding opportunity, totaling more than $6M. Polaris Networks, Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal, and Valid8.com were each awarded funding to develop test equipment and associated code required to test communications devices, based on 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards, for mission critical push-to-talk technology (MCPTT) and related public safety features such as Mission Critical Data (MCData) and Mission Critical Video (MCVideo).
Wireless telecommunications service providers complete several overlapping test processes to releasing new communications devices. These processes may include regulatory testing to meet government standards, various industry certifications, and testing within their own laboratories. While the test standards and procedures meet the needs for commercial devices, they cannot always ensure a device's proper performance for public safety purposes.
The PSIAP-MCVTE cooperative agreement from PSCR seeks to support research and development around the creation of a simulator program which will enable the necessary testing of MCPTT technology. The simulator will be expected to support standardized MCPTT, MCVideo, and MCData test cases.
Read more about the award recipient's projects below:
Polaris Networks was awarded $2,123,680 for their project: MCVTE Certification Test Tool, with the intention for the product to be deployment ready out of the box, including all needed software, hardware and installation instructions. Currently, the awardee markets and sells a product called "MCX tester" that is used to test mission critical application servers. Polaris Networks intends to bring this experience to the development of the Mission Critical Test Platform (MCTP). This project will be funded over a two year period.
Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal was awarded $3,606,532 for the development of an IP-based test simulator, entitled MCVTE TaaSTING, that could be used for the compliance testing of the mission critical implementations. The awardee intends for the platform to be made available via a cloud service, and will work to develop a streamlined testing process. Additionally, because various industry players still demand realistic testing of LTE capabilities required for effective mission critical operations, the awardee plans to develop end-to-end RF MCS testing equipment which will include eMBMS/MC features. This project will be funded over a two year period.
Valid8 was awarded $774,049 for their proposed system: The Valid8 MCX Client Conformance Tester, that is intended to bring significant advances to existing test tools. Valid8 has developed and deployed hundreds of test systems world-wide to meet these challenges. They intend to develop their system to build upon existing capabilities and extend them to form a robust capability for conformance testing MCPTT, MCVideo, and MCData. This project will be funded over a one year period.