The Global Certification Forum (GCF) has streamlined the certification of connected device categories such as netbooks, tablets, and smart meters, automotive, health, enterprise and consumer electronic devices.
For manufacturers of such devices, 3GPP connectivity extends the functionality and enhances the appeal and value of their products. Mobile operators need to be assured that any new device will not adversely impact their networks and other customers or interfere with other devices.
GCF’s standardised ‘test once, use anywhere’ certification scheme reduces acceptance testing overheads for manufacturers and operators alike.
The streamlined certification process is applicable to products that incorporate an embedded 3GPP wireless module that has itself been GCF-certified within the last three years.
By explicitly linking the certification of a device to the certification of its embedded module, GCF has been able to reduce the number and scope of tests that need to be applied to the device. Testing of eligible devices focuses on functionality such as antenna, SIM contacts and user interface that are specifically provided by the device rather than its embedded module.
The scheme accommodates manufacturers who wish to source multiple 3GPP modules as long as each device/module pair is individually certified.
GCF is now actively reaching out to industry groups across sectors such as metering, medical, automotive and payments to promote the streamlined scheme and its role in the development of new markets.
GCF is an active partnership between network operators, device manufacturers and the test industry. Since its inception in 1999, GCF has created an independent certification programme to help ensure global interoperability between mobile devices and networks.