We share our technical expertise


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

In a world of converging yet diverse technologies, complex ICT systems must communicate and interwork on all levels – this is interoperability.

Interoperability means that users have a much greater choice of products and manufacturers can benefit from the economies of scale that a wider market brings.

Interoperability is therefore a crucial factor in the success of modern technologies, and market demand has ensured that interoperability holds a prominent position in standardization.

One of the key motives for the development of ICT standards is to facilitate interoperability between products in a multi-vendor, multi-network and multi-service environment.

Complex products and systems are often based on multiple standards from several standards-making organizations, including ETSI, or on requirements published by industrial fora. Collaboration between standards groups is therefore vital.

In addition, standards themselves need to be designed and tested to ensure that products and services complying with them do achieve interoperability.

Testing of products and systems to verify their interoperability is critical to their success – ideally this should take place throughout their development. Eliminating basic interoperability problems at an early stage helps reduce costs and to avoid dissatisfied customers.

A standardized approach to testing is essential if the results are to be trusted.

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


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 & Testing Task Forces

Specialist Task Forces (STFs) and Testing Task Forces (TTFs) 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. Check out how to join one of our task forces.

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.

For more information please refer to our Research section.