Why compliance testing is important

Compliance testing is testing or other activities that determine whether a process, product, or service complies with the requirements of a specification, technical standard, contract, or regulation. Testing is often either logical testing or physical testing. The test procedures may involve other criteria from mathematical testing or chemical testing. Beyond simple conformance, other requirements for efficiency, interoperability, or compliance may apply.

Compliance testing may be undertaken by the producer of the product or service being assessed, by a user, or by an accredited independent organization, which can sometimes be the author of the standard. When testing is accompanied by certification, the products or services may then be advertised as being certified in compliance with the referred technical standard. Manufacturers and suppliers of products and services rely on such certification to assure quality to the end user.

In all such testing, the subject of test is not just the formal conformance in aspects of completeness of filed proofs, validity of referred certificates and qualification of operating staff. Rather, it also heavily focuses on operational conditions, physical conditions and applied test environments. Compliance testing includes surveillance, inspection, auditing, certification and accreditation.

Some countries and business environments require that an electronic product meet certain requirements before it can be sold. Standards for telecommunication products written by standards organizations such as ANSI, the FCC, and IEC have certain criteria that a product must meet before compliance is recognized. Usually, manufacturers set their own requirements to guarantee product quality, sometimes with levels much higher than what the governing bodies require.

Compliance testing for electronic devices includes emission tests, immunity tests, and safety tests. Emission tests make sure that a product will not emit harmful electromagnetic interference in communication and power lines. Immunity tests make sure that a product is immune to common electrical signals and electromagnetic interference (EMI). Safety tests make sure that a product will not create a safety risk from situations such as a failed or shorted power supply.

Radiated immunity: An antenna is used to subject the device to electromagnetic waves, covering a large frequency range (usually from 80 MHz to 6 GHz).

Radiated emissions: One or more antennas are used to measure the amplitude of the electromagnetic waves that a device emits. The amplitude must be under a set limit, with the limit depending on the device’s classification.

Conducted immunity: Low frequency signals (usually 10 kHz to 80 MHz) are injected onto the data and power lines of a device. This test is used to simulate the coupling of low frequency signals onto the power and data lines, such as from a local AM radio station.

Implementing an effective compliance testing program is of critical importance to managing compliance risk. When performing compliance testing, it is important to remember that you are testing against a rule, a regulation, a law, or a statute, which means that any finding is technically a violation of a law or a statute. Identifying violations of requirements and remediating the cause in a timely manner is crucial to mitigating compliance risk.

There are certain steps that are necessary to successfully implement an effective compliance testing process. These include building the requirements library, performing the compliance risk assessment, developing the compliance testing methodology, building the testing schedule, performing testing, taking up the issues management process and validating remediation.

Telecom products are increasingly being developed and introduced to a global marketplace. Many markets maintain a more stringent compliance based on local testing and approvals. For manufacturers, ‘in-house’ testing facilities can provide a significant advantage and help make sure products reach market on time. Test laboratories are also under constant pressure to respond to market demand and provide ‘local’, competitively priced, ‘rapid response’ testing services.

According to the type of network such as GSM or CDMA, compliance tests are performed to achieve conformance and interoperability. These tests may include protocol testing, safety/security testing, SIM card testing, radio frequency (RF) testing, audio tests and specific absorption tests.

Acoustic Testing: Tests are performed by the measurement of various electro-acoustic parameters. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has established standards for the acoustic performance of digital telephones.

Network Signaling Protocol: The signaling protocol SIP can be tested for compliance with the appropriate standard ETSI. Protocol analysis tools and interoperability tests are used to verify compliance.

PESQ - VQT (Voice Quality Testing): The telephone is tested to determine how well it handles packet loss, network jitter and other network disturbances. Tests can be performed using mean opinion score (MOS) prediction algorithms.

Glow’s role

Here at Glow, we make sure that proper protocol is followed when it comes to compliance testing. We are gatekeepers of telecom quality standards and this results in satisfied customers and happy clients. We continue to grow and invest in a bright future for everyone.

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