What is Interoperability testing?
This page describes interoperability testing basics and mentions WLAN, WiMAX, LTE, IoT interoperability testing.
This type of testing is conducted to test following scenarios:
• to test system from one manufacturer with the other
• to test the sub-system with the entire system
• to test WLAN and LTE compliant IoT device or device having two wireless protocols
The general approach for interoperability testing is defined in document ETSI EG-202-237.
The main characteristics of interoperability testing are as follows:
• The EUT(Equipment Under Test) and the QE(Qualified Equipment) specify testing boundaries
• EUT and QE should be from different vendors or suppliers or should be from different line of products
• The tests are conducted at normal interfaces used for user monitoring and control
• The tests are mere functional tests as used by the user(either human or software application itself) of the device or system. These tests are not mentioned at protocol layer level. Instead the conformance tests are specified at respective protocol layer level such as RF, PHY(layer-1) and MAC(layer-2).
• Various interfaces are simulated for interoperability testing such as MMIs(Man Machine Interfaces), APIs(Application Programming Interfaces) and protocol service interfaces.
Following is the basic interoperability testing block diagram with one qualified equipment. There are other test setups which include two or three qualified equipments if required as per test requirement.
Before the tests begin, interoperability tests need to be developed.
Following steps or procedured have to be followed.
• specify AS(abstract architecture)
• prepare draft IFS(Interoperable Features Statement)
• specify TSS(Test Suite Structure)
• Develop TP(Test Purposes)
• Develop TCs(test cases)
• Validate the TCs
• Finalize the Interoperable Features Statement(IFS)
Often interoperability testing is done along with compliance testing. Let us take example of IoT(internet of Things) interoperability testing.
As we know Internet of Things provide platform for various wireless devices and systems to communicate with the other in the internet backbone. For example IoT device having WLAN and LTE protocols will communicate one side with WLAN network and the other side with LTE cellular network. Hence for interoperability testing this IoT device(EUT) need to be tested with WLAN QE as well as and LTE QE. Refer cellular IoT for more. Similarly for other wireless standards such as WiMAX, GSM, Zigbee interoperability tests are conducted after TCs are well defined and QEs(Qualified Equipments) are available.