Testing and interoperability

In our complex, modern world, the inability to interoperate – or work together – may prevent the introduction of new products or services. So one of the key motives for the development of communications standards is to enable interoperability in a multi-vendor, multi-network, multi-service environment.

We take great care to ensure our standards are well-written – complete, clear, unambiguous and well-structured. We build in interoperability considerations from the very beginning of our standards-making process. And we validate and test our standards to ensure their quality.

Testing our standards

We have an arsenal of tools and techniques at our disposal. Our Centre for Testing and Interoperability (CTI) provides support and assistance to our technical committees in their use.

  • Validation of our standards – We include validation activities in our standards-making process and we take account of feedback from validation and testing activities, and from routine usage, to update and improve our standards on an ongoing basis. Our Plugtests™ events are one way of validating our standards. They also provide an opportunity for developers from different companies to get together to test their implementations and ensure interoperability between products.
  • Test specifications – Standardized test specifications are an integral part of our strategy for ensuring interoperability. We also provide conformance test specifications.
  • Specialized tools and languages – No matter how well written the documents, natural languages (English, in the case of our publications) are not always adequate to describe complex interactions. So, where appropriate, we also use modelling techniques, tools and specialized specification and testing languages.

Further information on interoperability and testing


Further information about our approach to testing, interoperability and technical quality is available on the ETSI Portal.

You can also find a number of other useful publications on the ETSI Portal.