GCF introduces Platform Certification
GCF Platform Certification simplifies testing requirements for certification of products incorporating mobile connectivity
16 February 2017 The Global Certification Forum (GCF) has launched a new Platform Certification process that will enable manufacturers to design innovative new wireless products around previously certified mobile communications functionality. This extension to the GCF scheme has been developed to simplify and cut the cost of certifying products designed to connect to mobile networks. By streamlining the testing and certification phase of product development, manufacturers will be able to shorten their time-to-market.
Platform Certification can be used to optimise the communications performance of any type of product incorporating mobile connectivity and will be particularly relevant to start-ups designing products for the “Internet of Things”. By reducing barriers to certification, Platform Certification will contribute to raising the performance of all mobile-connected devices, benefiting manufacturers, operators and their end-users.
Platform Certification follows the principles of GCF Certification which is an internationally-recognised benchmark for assessing the interoperability of products incorporating mobile connectivity. Focused on testing the core functionality of a device, GCF certification is the most cost-effective way for a manufacturer to demonstrate its products conform to international standards and will work correctly with multiple networks worldwide. Certification protects a manufacturer’s brand reputation from being damaged by products that do not connect correctly. Manufacturers that certify can expand their addressable market by demonstrating that their products will work correctly on up to 800 mobile networks around the world.
GCF defines a platform as any hardware or software subsystem that provides defined functionality within the scope of its certification scheme. Chipsets, communications modules, core radio components, protocol stacks, downloadable clients and even white label devices produced to be customised as an operator- or retailer-branded product can all be certified as a platform.
Under the Platform Certification scheme, the platform supplier specifies the functionality it is intended to deliver and certifies that functionality against all applicable GCF Certification Criteria. The supplier also identifies those test results that will not be impacted by its integration into an end-product. This allows the platform’s certification to be referenced and re-used in the certification of the finished product.
The scheme allows for multiple independent platforms to be integrated into a single end-product provided a suitably qualified expert, recognized by GCF, has assessed the integrations to ensure there are no co-existence issues.
The initiative will create new opportunities for technology companies to provide pre-certified functionality to manufacturers of mobile phones or other mobile-connected devices. As the scheme gains momentum, product designers and manufacturers will be able to select from a growing library of pre-certified platforms to deliver the functionality they require.
Mobile connectivity is being incorporated in ever more diverse and innovative products,” said Lars Nielsen, General Manager of GCF. “Platform Certification will make it easier for a manufacturer to incorporate pre-certified functionality in its designs, simplifying and reducing the cost of certifying its own products. By demonstrating that a product is interoperable with multiple mobile networks worldwide, a manufacturer significantly expands the size of the market it can realistically target.”
Platform Certification supports two of GCF’s core priorities: to promote the certification of all products that incorporate mobile connectivity and to reduce the duplication of testing during the design, development and launch of new products.
To find out more about Platform Certification, meet us at Mobile World Congress