The 5GASP Certification is the technical, organizational, and administrative process executed to certify a Network Application. The following parties are typically involved in a certification:
- Applicant (Equipment Manufacturer providing a Network Application supporting the 5GASP requirements):
- Select an authorised Testbed which meets the Applicant’s needs and schedule a certification testing slot
- Complete Network Application certification application and submit all required supporting documentation
- Submit required materials to the Testbed for certification testing
- Coordinate with Testbed on monitoring/supporting the certification test execution
- Coordinate with Testbed on investigation/debugging of Network Application test issues as required
- Authorized Testbeds (Independent Testbed which has 5GASP approval to provide test reports for Network Application certification):
- Respond promptly to testing inquiries from Applicants
- Coordinate with Applicant to schedule timely testing window
- Coordinate with Applicant to complete all pre-testing logistics
- Execute formal certification testing
- Review testing results for test environment integrity and accuracy
- Escalate abnormal test findings to 5GASP certification authority for disposition
- Facilitate investigation/debugging of product test issues with Applicant as requested
- Communicate completed test results to the 5GASP certification repository
- 5GASP Certification Authority (Logo owner and Program Administration):
- Review/approve product certification application and supporting documentation
- Collaborate with Testbeds on investigation/disposition of abnormal test findings
- Review testing results for product compliance
- Arbitrate any escalated issues from Testbed and Applicant
- Issue certificate and associated logo
- Maintain certified product listing
Upon availability of Network Application for the Testbed, testing shall be scheduled and conducted by the Testbed in an automated fashion.
In general, the Network Application certification is a procedure performed by a third party, independent of the manufacturer (seller) and consumer of software products, to confirm the compliance of a certain program or software package with the established requirements. The third party should be a Testbed that has been authorized (accredited) for the purpose of 5GASP certification testing. During the accreditation, the Testbed’s technical capabilities to conduct certification testing are assessed, and the Testbed’s qualification to verify results and discriminate pass/fail criteria are reviewed. Each Testbed needs to agree with 5GASP regarding administrative and legal aspects of certification testing. This is typically done by entering into a Testbed agreement contract. There are six accredited Testbeds in 5GASP, which are named with the city of the facility – Aveiro, Murcia, Bristol, Ljubljana, Patras, and Bucharest.
Certification testing is considered as organized into “test runs”, in which a unique combination of hardware and software undergoes the entire applicable test suite. Test runs are carried out automated and supervised by a Testbed personnel. Applicants may monitor certification testing but may not physically interact with the Network Application throughout the duration of a test run. Upon successful completion of all applicable testing, the Testbed shall submit test results for the final test run of the Network Application to 5GASP Certification Authority for final review.
Different grades of certification are created, starting with a minimum scope of test cases and/or a minimum set of KPI requirements for an initial step. Subsequently, the scope could be expanded and/or sets of KPIs could be strengthened. Different levels of certification (bronze / silver / gold) are created with different sets of criteria. The requirements of the certification levels are as follows:
- Bronze – all initial criteria
- Silver – all initial criteria and a minimum of 50 percent of available expanded criteria points
- Gold – all initial criteria and a minimum of 75 percent of available expanded criteria points
No certification would be issued by 5GASP Certification Authority if the initial criteria is not fully met. In this case, the Network Application Applicant could ask for a re-certification with a new software version. In the re-certification process, some workflows could be skipped (e.g., Certification Request), some documents could be only updated (e.g., Supporting documentation and Test materials), and the Testbed could be re-used. The re-certification process could be also used when a Network Application Applicant wants to get a higher level of certification (e.g., bronze was initially issued and later, silver or gold level is the goal for a new software version).