Conformance testing measures how accurately a product implements a technical specification. The degree of compliance helps vendors and users of the equipment to evaluate how the equipment will perform in the network where it will integrate with other network devices to provide an offered network service. Interoperability testing measures if two or more products correctly implement the technical specifications necessary to ensure successful integration supporting particular communication protocols. Conformance and interoperability testing is important to identify the non-compliance aspects of the equipment being tested, as defined by accepted standards in the industry, that may interfere in the quality of the network service being provided. High quality performing products available for commercial use will accelerate widespread deployment of the network technologies and their associated network services.
Capacity building activities in the regions will disseminate awareness about conformity and interoperability and will highly contribute to reduce the digital divide and standardization gap in developing countries especially introducing new technologies.
Conformance and interoperability testing is necessary to reduce the probability of errors being introduced during the network integration period, which can impact commercial deployment schedules. Besides the financial costs associated with the resources required to support an extended deployment schedule, other costs may manifest in lost market share or of customers experiencing the impact of poorly tested services.
Many service providers will require proof of compliance before accepting a product into its network. By taking a proactive approach, equipment manufacturers have the opportunity to any correct non-compliances, and improve the marketability of the product.
Capacity Building: ITU is implementing human resources capacity building in the regions on conformity, interoperability and testing and will also be organized in cooperation with other relevant regional and international organizations to clarify fundamental aspects as accreditation, certification, mutual recognition agreements and to explore the possibility to establish test centers in developing countries.
Establishment of Test Centers: This activity is intended to facilitate the establishment of regional or sub regional conformity and interoperability test centers and to encourage Mutual Recognition Agreements/Arrangements as appropriate. Guidelines have been prepared by the BDT in this aim and will provide basic elements to establish a strategy to establish test centers, including technical, human and instrumental resources, international standards and financial issues.