February 22, 2021 by Flynn Nogueira

Why Interoperability Testing is Important to Your PSAP

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Industries: 9-1-1 & Law Enforcement

Topics: Cybersecurity NG9-1-1 PSAPs Public Safety Applications

In the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) world, there are many elements that go into processing a 9-1-1 call. These include call routing, the Emergency Services IP network (ESInet) and location mapping, among others. Some 9-1-1 solution providers, like Motorola Solutions, offer all of the NG9-1-1 elements, making it easier for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to implement and manage.

Still, many PSAPs rely on multiple vendors for end-to-end emergency communications. That makes it important to verify a seamless relationship among the various vendor solutions to ensure seamless 9-1-1 service for PSAPs and the communities they serve. This verification is achieved through interoperability testing.

What is Interoperability Testing?

Interoperability testing uses set procedures to determine if two or more devices act as designed when working together under one interface. The results throughout the process are measured against a widely accepted standard. For example, interoperability testing ensures our call handling solutions—VESTA® 9-1-1 and CallWorks CallStation—perform against the NENA i3 standard when working with Next Generation Core Services (NGCS) providers.

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Andre Williams, Motorola Solutions’ Director of Product Management, explained, “While 9-1-1 solution providers are committed to the i3 standard, we know that, with any standard, there is always more than one way to interpret its controls. Lab testing allows us to make sure other vendors’ interpretations and implementations of i3 align with ours. This enables us to uncover and repair any issues early, with the goal to achieve complete operational readiness before going live at the PSAP.”

In the process, Andre says, it’s important to realize that every PSAP is unique. “One PSAP’s configuration could present a scenario that prompts the need for more comprehensive testing. We keep this in mind with every NGCS deployment to ensure quality of service every time.”

Motorola Solutions’ Commitment to Interoperability Testing

Interoperability testing is critical to our customers’ success and their communities’ safety, so we have established a dedicated team to devote the appropriate time and attention to its processes.

“We don’t assume everyone is the same,” said Andre. “And it’s why we have deployed networks with multiple NGCS providers in the U.S and are working with the two national NGCS providers in Canada. We have created an interoperability plan for each of these, documenting the specific configurations they offer. Our team also performs additional testing as necessary, such as for a new software release, to ensure uninterrupted interoperability.”

Andre says the outcome of our interoperability testing is the assurance that customers can rely on Motorola Solutions with confidence day in and day out, in their mission-critical work. 

Learn more at www.motorolasolutions.com/ng911 

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