Article published in COMPRION Customer Magazine “Testability Times“, January 2017
The UICC plays a central role within mobile communications because it offers a secure way to authenticate mobile devices to the network. Certification bodies such as GCF and PTCRB have defined globally binding certification criteria to ensure that the latest smartphones, handsets, and mobile devices work correctly with the UICC. Most of these UICC-related tests are so-called combined device tests, meaning that besides the UICC interface, the air interface is also involved.
In 2007, COMPRION has introduced its first conformance test platform for (U)SIM/(U)SAT mobile device testing by involving not only the UICC simulator but also the Anritsu MD8470A network simulator for 2G/3G radio access technologies. At the time, the solution was revolutionary as it was the first system of its kind that integrated the network simulator seamlessly in the setup, thus easing the complex testing task. Since then, the COMPRION SIMfony family has been continuously enhanced with tests covering also W-CDMA, LTE, and GSMA TS.27 Handset Test Book as well as MNO-specific requirements and integrating a variety of different network simulators (Anritsu MD8475A, R&S CMW500, Spirent C2K). Nowadays, COMPRION SIMfony is the most popular conformance test platform for testing the UICC interface in mobile devices. Here you see an overview of the latest enhancements:
COMPRION SIMfony has been expanded by implementing support for REFRESH-related test cases from GCF WI-230. These test cases have been specified inside the 3GPP WG CT6 in 2015 by COMPRION, on the request from network operators. They also make use of Rel-12 USAT feature refresh enforcement policy if this is already supported by the terminal.
Following the evolution of R&S CMW500, COMPRION SIMfony CMW500 will be migrated to the latest MLAPI version. With the support of the new version, all IMS-related test cases will also use the R&S integrated IMS server on CMW500. This will affect mainly test cases based on the latest version of the Verizon Wireless LTE Device-UICC USIM-ISIM interaction test plan and the SMS over IMS related test cases from 3GPP TS 31.124 for PTCRB RFT-092.
Furthermore, new USAT test cases based on the latest version of the same test plan have been implemented and verified. These test cases are based on Rel-10 and Rel-12 features of 3GPP TS 31.111 / ETSI TS 102 223 related to enhanced features for BIP, also known as Bearer Independent Protocol.
The most popular conformance test platform for the UICC interface of mobile devices
COMPRION's UICC simulator (UT³ Platform or alternatively IT³ Prove! or Prove 2) is the central element of the combined mobile device test ensemble. The network simulator is controlled by the COMPRION test tool.
COMPRION SIMfony is continuously enhancing the coverage for expanding requirements coming from the GSMA TS.27 NFC Handset Test Book. Beside the support of BIP test cases on COMPRION SIMfony in combination with Anritsu MD8475A network simulator with release R5.0.4, our customers are also able to execute BIP test cases on COMPRION SIMfony in combination with R&S CMW500 network simulator. Latest developments include new test cases from GCF WI-214 and PTCRB RFT-123. These test cases ensure the proper operation of BIP over the cellular network when a terminal is connected to Wi-Fi.
One further step towards full coverage of the GSMA TS.27 NFC Handset Test Book test cases will be COMPRION SIMfony support for remote management test cases to verify data downloading to the UICC over the air using BIP in combination with SMS services.
For the new generation of Internet of Things (IoT) terminals complying with the new 3GPP Rel-13 NB-IoT radio access technology (RAT), COMPRION is a supporting company at GCF for this recently approved work item. We have also taken over the lead at 3GPP WG CT6 to enhance the related test specifications TS 31.121 and TS 31.124 to cover this new RAT. The work at CT6 is expected to be completed in Q1/2017 and the first version of the related test cases on COMPRION SIMfony can be expected shortly after the standardization work has been finalized.
Many customers showed a strong interest in the support for 3G USIM/USAT on the R&S CMW500 network simulator. We are happy to see that the implementation is progressing well and we are expecting finalization of the 3G test case implementation on CMW500 by mid of 2017.
For Anritsu MD8475A, COMPRION will support the recently announced Anritsu system software V6.20a.
Testing the UICC interface of mobile devices with a soldered UICC with regard to the different 3GPP/3GPP2 radio access technologies gains more and more importance. As the supplier of the most popular conformance test platform for UICC testing, COMPRION is prepared for the increasing market demand. We are adapting SIMfony test cases so they can be run over the air without a direct physical access to the UICC interface for terminals using an eUICC.
In cooperation with some of our customers, we have already provided a proof of concept regarding USIM test cases from 3GPP TS 31.121, testing the interoperability of the USIM interface in mobile devices carrying an eUICC.
In a next step, we expand this work to the USAT test cases defined in 3GPP TS 31.124.
Jürgen Fischer, Lead Technical Advisor, COMPRION SIMfony Team
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