News from GCF’s 77th Steering Group meeting, San Diego December 2018

  • 06 Feb 2019
  • Tim Evans (NTT DOCOMO) – 2018 SG Chair

GCF held its Quarter 4 Steering Group meeting of 2018 hosted by Qualcomm in warm San Diego, California. Although close to the Christmas and New Year holiday period, the meeting was well attended by significant players in the mobile telecoms industry including: Apple, AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telecom (T-Mobile) ,Ericsson, Google, Huawei, Intel, Motorola Mobility, Multi Tech, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sierra Wireless, Sony Mobile, Sprint, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, T, u-blox, Verizon,  Vodafone & Zebra.

The Steering Group discusses and takes decisions on how to progress the GCF certification scheme that facilitates testing of mobile devices, ensuring a programme which aims to keep testing costs down but deliver high quality mobile devices to the market place.

Into tomorrow with 5G

The effective introduction and roll out of 5G technology will be a crucial business driver for the mobile telecoms industry. The SG membership agreed to create working groups to investigate new technologies that will broaden support of 5G technology, such as MEC (multi-access edge computing).   

Other discussions on 5G included reducing the period that early certifications for 5G modules and platforms could be re-used. This will ensure the latest 5G features are certified and deployed quickly. Also covered was how to further  prioritise industry requirements for early 5G deployment .

Everything connected

In line with GCF’s longer term strategy of expanding certification programmes from core telecoms technologies into IoT applications, the IoT Agreement Group reported that work on integration of the first vertical -oneM2M certification - was progressing well and certification is expected to start in Q1 2019. Another area of interest to the group is to explore the security landscape for IoT devices.

Re-use of test results is an important method of keeping down product costs and broadening product quality. Therefore, the proposal by Qualcomm, allowing the re-use of test/certification results for chipsets used in IoT devices supporting CAT-M and NB was agreed.

Additionally, the MoU for certification in the automotive industry is being finalised between the GCF and 5GAA and will be announced soon.

Honing Certification Quality

One of the strengths of the GCF scheme is its combined self-certification with challenge to quality process.

To prepare for the future, as the range of technology used in mobile devices broadens leading to an increasing complexity of certification testing. The SG agreed to release further resources to continue random audits of certification declarations.  The output of the audits is used to hone the quality of the certification process.

As increasing number of new users are starting to use the GCF schemes, the audits results are also an important coaching tool for new entrants. This helps them leverage the benefits of the scheme immediately.