London (United Kingdom) / Frankfurt/Main (Germany) April 11, 2022 – The Global Certification Forum (GCF) and the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA) – as a working group of ZVEI – Electro and Digital Industry Association – announce the signing of a cooperation agreement (COOP) to jointly investigate industrial 5G certification needs. This cooperation agreement brings together experts from operational technology (OT) companies and information and communication technology (ICT) companies with experts from the Global Certification Forum. It is the beginning of a collaboration to share information on Industrial IoT use cases and related requirements for testing and certification of 5G products. Another main goal of the COOP is to evaluate applicable testing and certification programs for 5G Industrial IoT products. Both parties are also interested in ensuring interoperable devices, networks, and services to enable the high-quality, reliable, and secure wireless communications required for industrial use cases in automation, factories, etc. worldwide.
GCF’s mission is to facilitate the three steps to certification: Test-Certify-Connect. GCF enables the testing of mobile and IoT products and manages industry-agreed programs to certify them. In doing so, GCF gives confidence to network operators and industrial users to connect GCF certified products to networks and services.
The mission of 5G-ACIA is to ensure the best possible applicability of 5G technology for connected industries, in particular the manufacturing and process industries. 5G-ACIA ensures that the interests and particular aspects of the industrial domain are adequately considered in 5G standardization and regulation. 5G-ACIA further ensures that the ongoing 5G developments are understood by and transferred to the industrial domain. This includes possible integration concepts and migration paths, together with the evaluation of key technologies emerging from 5G standardization bodies.
Lars Nielsen, CEO and General Manager, Global Certification Forum:
“GCF has been at the heart of the mobile communications industry for more than 20 years, its members working to ensure confidence in interoperability through rigorous certification to 3GPP standards. The organization continues to evolve to meet the needs of new stakeholders and, as part of this, has already started to include work items relating to industrial use cases. Now, cooperating closely with 5G-ACIA, GCF aims to accelerate this activity to enable connected industries and automation companies to benefit from the same advantages as ICT companies when undertaking 5G deployments.”
Dr. Andreas Mueller, 5G-ACIA General Chair:
“Over the past four years, the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA) has successfully influenced the creation of industrial 5G standards in 3GPP. The foundation for the success of industrial standardization has been the flourishing collaboration between OT and ICT companies. An appropriate certification framework is the next important step to prepare Industrial 5G for the market. Therefore, we appreciate the collaboration with the Global Certification Forum to work together on the needs of 5G ACIA members.”
GCF is a non-profit, global, membership driven organization that has been shaping the industry since 1999 with mobile technology at the core. GCF has over 300 members from major operators, MVNOs, all major device and IoT manufacturers and the test industry, working together with key industry partners on certification programs demanded by the market.
The 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA) is the central global forum for shaping industrial 5G. 5G-ACIA members jointly prepare for the disruptive change that 5G will bring, promote a better understanding of industrial needs, and gain insights into a highly attractive emerging market. 5G-ACIA provides a unique platform for OT and ICT companies, academia, and all relevant stakeholders to influence 5G development and deployment, in line with industrial imperatives. The currently more than 90 member organizations make the results of their work directly available to 3GPP, the main standardization body for developing 5G. 5G-ACIA is a market representation partner of 3GPP and has the formal status of a working party of ZVEI – German Electro and Digital Industry Association.