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Our expertise

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We share our technical expertise

Standards-making

We make world-class standards

Our primary task is to produce high-quality standards for information and communication technologies across all sectors of industry and society. The list of these technologies is long and wide-ranging.

We were established to make standards for Europe and we have a special role as a recognized European Standards Organization. We are also widely respected as a producer of standards for worldwide use. We work with numerous organizations at the global level. We produce different types of standards to meet the different needs of business and society.

Our standards are available for free and represent a huge library of the state of the art of ICT. We have over 12 million downloads a year. Our white papers and brochures complement our standards.

Testing and interoperability

Testing our standards

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

  • Validation of our standards – We include validation activities in our standards-making process. We take account of feedback from validation and testing activities and from routine usage. We use this feedback to update and improve our standards on an ongoing basis. Our Plugtests™ events are one way of validating our standards. They also give developers from different companies the chance to get together to test their implementations and ensure product interoperability.
  • Test specifications – Standardized conformance or interoperability test specifications are an integral part of our strategy for ensuring interoperability.
  • Specialized tools and languages – As natural languages (English, in the case of our publications) can fall short. We need other ways 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

Our Centre for Testing and Interoperability

Our Centre for Testing and Interoperability (CTI) assists our technical committees, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™) and the oneM2M Partnership Project. It provides hands-on support on the application of testing and validation techniques in standards-making.

The CTI has extensive expertise in:

  • best practices in interoperability, testing and protocol specification
  • validation of standards
  • conformance testing
  • interoperability testing
  • organization of interoperability events (PlugtestsTM)
  • organization of events relevant for standards and technology development such as Proofs of Concept (PoC), Hackathons, Developer events and others.

Our brochure 'pdfAn Introduction to achieving technical excellence', introduces the CTI and its work.

Developing test specifications

The CTI’s important task is the planning and development of conformance and interoperability test specifications. Many of these are used in external certification schemes. Examples include those of the Global Certification Forum (GCF) and the DECTTM Forum.

To ensure the quality of the tests, we validate them in various ways:

  • in-house
  • in collaboration with commercial test laboratories and recognized test tool suppliers
  • among the ETSI membership

Plugtests 

See our upcoming interoperability events in the calendar.

The first ETSI PlugtestsTM event took place in 1999. Since then, Plugtests have proved a valuable tool in the development of global standards. They serve two main purposes:

  • They provide essential feedback to our technical committees to help us improve our standards and to accelerate the standards-making process
  • They give engineers a chance to get together to test the interoperability of their implementations – potentially reducing a product’s time-to-market

The benefits of such events include:

  • improving the interoperability of products and services
  • supporting the deployment of new technologies
  • enabling networking between partners, competitors and other experts
  • validating our standards

Specialist Task Forces

Specialist Task Forces (STFs) are teams of highly skilled experts, brought together to perform specific technical work. They operate under the direction of one of our technical committees.

They enable us to accelerate the standardization process in areas of strategic importance and in response to urgent market needs.

Supporting research and innovation

Early standardization in the development of a technology or a product can be crucial to its market success. In this way we can identify new areas for standardization at an early stage and can ensure that standards are in place when they are needed.

From research to standards

Researchers benefit from early exposure to the issues they face in industrial take-up of their ideas. Industry benefits from faster exploitation of research results. Research input is very relevant in early study phases when alternative technical solutions have to be evaluated.

We offer several paths for interaction between researchers and our standards committees:

  • Our workshops are an entry point for research results. They provide a platform to disseminate research results and identify next steps for standardization. Researchers in ETSI member organizations can provide contributions to existing ETSI committees or drive the creation of new committees. Our innovation team provides support to identify the most suitable way forward.
  • We maintain contact with relevant European Technology Platforms, Public Private Partnerships and Joint Technology Initiatives
  • We collaborate closely with National Standards Organizations and with Small- and Medium-sized enterprises. These entities are often well-placed to identify new technologies.

Education about Standardization

ETSI has developed a set of teaching materials on standardization. With the support of the European Commission and the EFTA Secretariat, we have developed a comprehensive textbook, “Understanding ICT Standardization: Principles and Practice”, together with an extensive set of over 380 slides to be used as teaching aides.

The teaching materials are targeted at third-level education, primarily for students of engineering or scientific subjects. The materials are modular in structure, and some modules may be of relevance to students of business, management, innovation and legal subjects.

Topics covered include:

    • Standardization basics
    • The standards ecosystem
    • The production of standards
    • Standardization and innovation
    • Standardization and strategy
    • A business perspective: Standardization and intellectual property rights (IPR)
    • The economic benefits of standards

The textbook and slides in PDF format are available for direct download:

The slides are also available in Microsoft Powerpoint format, and ETSI is prepared to grant a license for academic users (teachers, lecturers etc.) to integrate some or all of these slides in their own coursework, upon request.

Request a Powerpoint copy of the slides, together with a license to integrate them into coursework.

ETSI welcomes feedback on the use of these teaching materials. Please complete our survey in order to provide your comments.

The proceedings of the ETSI conference, “Boosting ICT Business and Innovation: A Comprehensive Approach to Standardization Education in Europe”, held on 4-5 October 2018, are also available.

If you need support and advice to bring your work to ETSI, please contact our Director Innovation.

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