Interoperability

OMA Interoperability Working Group
(OMA IOP WG)

Overview

The OMA IOP WG is one of the founding horizontal working groups within OMA. Since the inception of this group in 2002, the IOP WG has been producing high quality test specifications, facilitating testing for its members and, in some cases, producing TTCN test code for the validation of Candidate Enabler releases.

The OMA IOP Program is unique in the industry as a provider of this expertise, test documentation and artifacts. The group is proud to be formally recognized by several equipment certification bodies, such as the GCF (Global Certification Forum) and the PTCRB, whose programs have certified thousands of mobile handsets founds in the hands of consumers today on a truly global scale. The active and contributing members of the IOP groups are comprised of tier one mobile service providers, globally recognized equipment vendors and best of class test tool providers. These members are often members of other external consortia, such as the GSMA, and bring with them a vast body of knowledge and awareness of the most relevant industry focal points, applying this expertise to the rapid production of core test specifications.

Under the solid and careful leadership of its past Chair Martin Niekus (ALU), the group has been successful in transitioning its IOP program to answer the needs of an evolving market. Martin has been instrumental in establishing the concept of Deployment Suites and has worked generously with his colleagues throughout the organization and industry to improve the organizations readiness to embrace the current and future challenges facing global interoperability.

The IOP WG is currently Chaired by Markus Hanhisalo (Microsoft), with Henrique Costa (NEC) and Michael Siggelkow (Rohde & Schwarz), and with sub-working groups IOP-MEC chaired by Markus Hanhisalo (Microsoft), IOP-BRO Henrique Costa (NEC) and IOP-TTCN chaired by Michael Siggelkow (Rohde & Schwarz).

Bringing Value to the Mobile Industry

In an increasingly expanding and in a complexly connected society, the need for true and proven interoperability is essential to provide consumers with reliable and secure mobile services. In order to accomplish that fundamental goal and the promise of seamless functionality of deployed enablers, there must be service providers and equipment vendors willing to invest in the quality assurance step seen in the IOP WG. When an OMA WG requests to have an enabler validated, the IOP WG generates test specifications and reports any inconsistencies in the specifications back to the OMA Technical Working Groups.

The IOP WG works closely within OMA technical working groups as well as external bodies, such as the GSMA, GCF and PTCRB, to promote an open dialog of cooperation, and supports the defragmentation of test efforts across the industry in an effort to reduce cost and delays.

The IOP WG membership is also keenly aware of the need for a low cost, low barrier to entry programs for test teams. In support of this need, the IOP WG has evolved its processes and testing venues. A simple yet robust Non-Disclosure Agreement provides an environment where vendors feel confident in bringing their implementations while the powerful web based ‘Test on Demand’ and ‘Test Bank’ facilities enable test teams to share their availability to test without the burden of heavy travel costs. An automated problem-reporting tool allows users to highlight any faults found in this testing, as well as to promote their successes via a product listing webpage.

The IOP WG, along with the Release Planning and Management committee (REL), have identified a need in the market for richer and more broad combinational services, such as the GSMA Rich Communication Suite, and to provide the certification bodies with solid industry recognized conformance test specifications. The IOP and REL groups have promoted the adoption of a new type of enabler within OMA, a Test Centric Enabler now known as a ‘Deployment Suite Enabler’. This innovation has allowed OMA to directly reference external specifications, which compliment the use of OMA Enablers, in an OMA Deployment Suite Enabler and include selected features in OMA test specifications. This straddling of organizations between OMA, the GSMA and the GCF completes the ‘Service Creation to Deployment and Test Loop’ and promotes greater industry collaboration.