The latest meeting
of TSAG saw the formation
of a new correspondence group to examine what
role ITU-T should have in conformance and interoperability testing for its
The stamp of
approval that shows conformance to a standard could be a potent marketing tool
for manufacturers of equipment.
The convener of
the group Arve Meisingset of Telenor R&D in Norway, and Vice Chairman
of Study Group 17 said: “There are
many possibilities, from maintaining the status quo in which third parties can
test for conformance without a complete set of ITU testing standards to the
setting-up of actual testing labs based on ITU guidelines and standards. We
will look at the pros and cons of all possibilities; examine what is
appropriate for ITU to do, and what members want.”
there are procedures in some Recommendations, there is no systematic approach
to testing implementations of ITU-T Recommendations for conformance
or interoperability. And, so initial steps will probably be along the lines of
producing guidelines for protocol writers and users of those protocols, and
examining how ITU can produce a more complete set of
testing standards to help the testing community and product
suppliers deliver better standards-based products.
applicable specifications include the 7-part X.290-series Recommendations that
covers generic aspects of conformance testing. In addition, SG 17 is
standardizing a testing methodology and framework for interoperability testing.
SG 17 will write the guidelines and generic testing
methodology standards while SG 11 will write
protocol-specific testing standards. Other study groups have also developed
specific methodologies for particular Recommendations. For example, Study Group 16 has
developed a conformance testing specification for the video compression codec
that future work will benefit from the more systematic method that could result
from this activity.
testing, the objective is to determine how completely and correctly the
requirements of the standard have been met by the implementation. In
interoperability testing, the objective is to determine if two or more
implementations of the same standard interoperate with each other. In the
telecommunication world, it is generally assumed that the implementations have
been tested for conformance prior to interoperability testing.