Mission Critical Communication systems ensure that emergency staff and other key stakeholders can communicate reliably, instantaneously and securely when responding to critical situations.

Mission Critical Communication is supported by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standardization, which defines the essential Mission Critical Services (MCS, also referred to as MCX) for voice, video and data. 3GPP also standardizes architectures and interfaces, to enable interoperability between vendors. GCF provides the framework for certification of MCS products to ensure compliance with standards.

Creating a well-functioning mission-critical communications product involves several key steps. It begins with product development, ensuring alignment with 3GPP standards, followed by conformance certification to demonstrate standards compliance. Next, interoperability and field testing are conducted, where products are integrated into solutions and verified and optimized in 4G/5G network environments.

AstaZero provides support throughout the phases from product development to certification and tests of integrated solutions in AstaZero 4G/5G test environments. AstaZero is ISO 17025 accredited and a GCF Recognized Test Organization (RTO), offering services in the following areas:

AstaZero offering

  • Online MCS conformance R&D tool and expert assistance helping MCX manufacturers to develop their products to become 3GPP compliant
  • GCF Assessment Capable Entity services (ACE, in collaboration with a partner) assist product manufacturers in selecting relevant test cases for the certification of chosen features, and in assessing test results prior to the declaration
  • GCF Recognized Test Organization (RTO) conformance test services, executing test cases using a GCF-validated test platform. MCS conformance certification has the important objective to ensure that MCS products adhere to 3GPP standards. This paves the way for the development of truly standards-based MCS products, where different vendor’s products can interoperate. 
  • 300-hectare proving ground, offering comprehensive 4G/5G network capabilities to verify scenarios involving handover and roaming, varying radio coverage in the terrain or in the air, network priority, 5G network slicing and more. All in a controlled and secure environment where user traffic, and data plane, do not need to leave the premises.
  • EMC test chambers enable testing in isolated environments where different radio spectrum frequencies and various radio and device output powers can be tested without the need for regulatory-issued frequency licences. The EMC chambers owned by RISE and used by AstaZero are amongst the largest in the world. One of the chambers, AWITAR, can test radio equipment mounted in full-size trucks including trailers, small aircraft and other large objects. Additional test chambers within RISE are used to verify properties such as extreme temperatures, vibration, dust and more.
  • Subject matter expertise covering 3GPP MCS specifics. AstaZero is here partnering with leaders in several subject area domains within mission critical communication.

Based on the Swedish government directive to assist society, AstaZero offers mission critical equipment manufacturers and mission critical operators assistance from development to test and certification. This aims to enable a competitive market for interoperable products, driven by innovation and cost efficiency.

Read the press release from 20240617