Centre for Testing & Interoperability * CTI Support for TBs * How to organize a Plugtest

How to organize a Plugtest Event?

What is a Plugtest event?

The purpose of Plugtest interoperability events is to provide feedback into standards-making, enhancing the quality of the final deliverables. They also help guarantee interoperability of products, which is crucial to the successful deployment of new technologies.

Plugtests are an excellent opportunity to assess and demonstrate end-to-end interoperability, to validate the base specification(s) and to promote the technology in a neutral environment. They are open to any company or organization implementing the standard.

How to start a Plugtest event?

There are some key elements needed to make a test event happen:

  • Commitment of industry stakeholders (represented by an ETSI Technical Body, forum, consortium, partnership etc.)
  • Public availability of the relevant base standards (or draft standards)
  • Availability of suitably implementations 
  • A minimum number of vendors prepared to attend the event 

What is the life cycle of a Plugtest event?

The typical life cycle of a test event has four phases (the duration of these phases depends on the urgency and the amount of resources available). But experience shows that normally a total of around 6 months is required before the Plugtest.

 Month  ... 
 Phases   Proposal   Preparation   Plugtest   Dissemination


ETSI CTI will assist you to assess that it is the right time to start planning for a Plugtest event. If so, the result of the proposal phase will, among other things, decide on

  • The technical scope of the event 
  • The date and location 
  • The test infrastructure requirements 
  • The minimum number of vendors required 
  • Registration date and other critical deadlines 
  • A communications plan

In the preparation phase work is carried out (usually through virtual meetings) on items such as

  • Development of test specifications 
  • Test session scheduling 
  • Any pre-testing that may be needed 
  • Implementation of the communications plan 
  • Setting requirements on the test infrastructure

The active phase is the Plugtest itself where tests are run, wrap up sessions are held and feedback to the standard is collected.

In the dissemination phase a test report is developed (which can be an ETSI TR), media releases are issued (press, blog, tweet) and presentations at conferences and workshops are given.

Strict anonymity

Plugtest events are covered by a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and attendance is accepted only once the NDA has been signed by all parties. This NDA ensures a cooperative collaboration between all participating companies.

A technical report compiles anonymous test results in a statistical manner. This report is submitted to the relevant technical committee along with suggestions for improvement of the associated standard.

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