Softil claims direct mode success

Softil has announced the successful completion of the first interoperability test of off-network direct mode, at the most recent ETSI Plugtest taking place in Malaga, Spain.

According to the company, the test involved its BEEHD framework to “validate the interoperability of new MCX vendor products”. The test – the eighth of its kind staged by ETSI – was intended to examine products with 3GPP Release 17 functionality, “FRMCS, eMBMS, interworking function and direct mode”.

Discussing the test, spokesperson said: “During the Malaga Plugtest, [our] team focused on one of the most critical MCX features – ensuring device-to-device communications. Until now, communicating when a network was down was only available on LMR devices. However, Qualcomm’s 5G-Sidelink technology now allows devices to discover each other and communicate without network connectivity.

“Softil, together with Alea, demonstrated the first ever interoperable direct mode communication using devices powered by [the Qualcomm technology].”

Director of products and standards at Softil, Anatoli Levine, said: “By ensuring interoperability of MCX products and solutions, the industry spurs choice, economies of scale, confidence in the new technology and allows operators to choose best-of-breed solutions. With complete interoperability of systems, first responders can communicate together at all times, irrespective of MCX vendor products being used.

“Once deployed, Qualcomm’s 5G-Sidelink technology will allow the complete transition from LMR to the latest public safety broadband technologies.”

The event was hosted by the University of Malaga in the middle of October. According to Softil, it was attended by more than 115 delegates representing 31 MCX vendor companies and 20 observer organisations and staff.