Field testing is a unique feature of the GCF Certification scheme. By requiring tests against field trial scenarios on live networks, as a complement to conformance tests in a controlled lab environment, Field Trials provide an invaluable insight into the real-world interoperability of a device.
For each feature being tested, field trials are performed on a specified number of infrastructure combinations on live networks.
GCF operators are encouraged to make their networks available for field trials. Such operators are known as a Field Trial Qualified Operator or FTQO.
The provision of relevant network information and appropriate drive routes by FTQOs is defined in formal process documentation designed to ensure field trials may be correctly and efficiently performed, and to safeguard the confidentiality of the operator's network information.
Participating operators benefit hugely by supporting manufacturers and the test houses which undertake the field trials. As well as first-hand knowledge of new products, FTQOs also gain valuable insights into potential interoperability issues within their own networks.
The relevant technical department of a Field Trial Qualified Operator is encouraged to meet ISO 9000, or equivalent, quality standards.
For more information on Field Trials within GCF, download this GCF White Paper.