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ETSI MCX FRMCS Plugtest Report Launched – The Critical Communications Review

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor
The observations from the Plugtests events provide essential feedback to 3GPP Working Groups as work continues in 3GPP and ETSI FRMCS specifications.

The capabilities of FRMCS including Mission Critical Push to Talk (MCPTT), Mission Critical Data (MCData) and Mission Critical Video (MCVideo) – together abbreviated as MCX services – were tested during the third FRMCS Plugtests from 03rd July to 07th July 2023 at the UIC Headquarter in Paris, France using a 5G test network. More than 300 test cases were executed between vendors, based on 3GPP Release-17.
The 3rd ETSI FRMCX Plugtests have concluded with a success rate of 86% of the executed tests in the validation of FRMCS vendor interoperability. More than 80 delegates participated during the 3rd FRMCS Plugtests event in Paris.
These tests are essential to ensure seamless access to FRMCS over 5G networks across different vendors’ products and implementations.
The FRMCS Plugtests series is the first independent testing of railways and other mission critical services over 5G networks. The preparations for the third Plugtests started in April 2023, were followed by two weeks of integration with the test network in June 2023, a one week pre-testing in July 2023, and were finalized with a one week of face-to-face end to end interoperability testing with 5G test networks.
The tests were based on 3GPP Release-17 and more than 300 tests were executed between the different vendors in more than 80 test sessions. The test cases, which have been amended with additional test scenarios, will be included in a future new version of ETSI TS 103 564 (after the ETSI committee TCCE approval). Besides the MCPTT, MCData and MCVideo Application Servers and Clients, the testing also included, railways-oriented features and devices, railway emergency, etc. A test stream was dedicated for 3GPP RAN5 conformance testing.
The observations from the Plugtests events provide essential feedback to 3GPP Working Groups as work continues in 3GPP and ETSI FRMCS specifications.
The testing during the 3rd FRMCS Plugtests was complemented by an observer program with presentations, round- table discussions and demos for the observers.
This third FRMCS Plugtests was organized by ETSI with the support of the European Commission, EFTA, TCCA and UIC.
The Plugtests event was a pure interoperability testing event, and no products were certified. The next FRMCS Plugtests event are planned for June 2024.
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