During the Global Certification Forum (GCF) meeting held in London in March, Anritsu Corp. set the pace by becoming the first company to obtain approval for 3GPP RF Test Cases as defined in the 3GPP Terminal Conformance Specification. In addition, the company received GCF approval for an industry leading 13 3GPP Protocol Conformance Test Cases utilizing the TTCN developed by the 3GPP Terminals working group, TSG T1.

"The importance of obtaining GCF approvals on both RF and Protocol test cases is crucial for the 3G industry," stated Paul Hunter, European managing director with Anritsu Ltd. Explaining further to Microwave Journal he commented: "The significance is that for the first time people can clearly see major progress being made towards having conformance platforms ready for 3G mobiles this year, which has been the target the industry has been working towards. Before this latest GCF meeting, there were just a very small number of test cases available and there was concern that the availability of conformance platforms for 3G mobiles would delay the launch of 3G networks.

"However, now it can be seen that the log jam has been breached and the test cases should now start to roll off the assembly line in some volume. We are confident of getting the first package of test cases completed by the May time frame and the full depth of high priority test cases completed by the end of 2003."

Hunter also commented that, on the protocol side, good progress was being made on the official ETSI developed test cases and commented, "It is good news for the industry. We could not afford for 3G to end up as the disaster that the GPRS launch was. It has cost billions of pounds for people to buy licenses and build networks and they need to have consistent, high quality implementation. Customers aren't willing to live with problems with 3G. They are used to GSM, which works reliably and at a high quality and will accept nothing less for 3G."