MulteFire 1.0 Certification Program Ensures an Interoperable Device Ecosystem for Private LTE Networks

The MulteFire Alliance (MFA), the association dedicated to building a global ecosystem in support of the common interests of members, developers and users in the application of LTE and next-generation mobile cellular technology, has announced the launch of the MulteFire 1.0 Certification Program. They have also certified the first customer premise equipment (CPE) device. With MulteFire technology, organizations can now cost-effectively deploy their own private LTE network and realize the benefits of better capacity, coverage, mobility and built-in security needed for industry 4.0 use cases.

The MulteFire Alliance (MFA) Certification Program ensures that devices have implemented the MulteFire specifications correctly and are able to interoperate with devices from other manufacturers, which helps reduce field interoperability failures.

The MFA Certification Program tests eNodeBs together with UEs for conformance to the MulteFire Release 1.0 specification and for eNodeB devices in the 1.9 GHz band in Japan. To certify a device, device makers must submit samples of their devices to an Authorized Test Lab (ATL) for assessment and provide technical information about their devices so that the ATL and the certification program can determine how to test the device, and what tests need to be run. Once testing and any issues resolved, the device will be certified by the MFA.

The Certification Program is open to MFA members and their devices that pass certification may use the “MulteFire Certified” logo and certification mark. This certification gives end users confidence that MulteFire devices bearing the certified logo have passed rigorous interoperability testing.

The MulteFire 1.0 specification defines LTE operation in unlicensed and shared spectrum bands, including the global 5 GHz band. The certification program tests eNodeBs together with UEs for conformance with the MulteFire 1.0 specification to ensure an interoperable, global device ecosystem for use in unlicensed or shared radio spectrum. By removing the need for licensed spectrum, MulteFire will help to lower entry cost and accelerate high-speed, secure private wireless networking deployment.

MulteFire technology opens up an entirely new range of private wireless use cases that add to existing deployment scenarios in asset-intensive industries. New opportunities include rapid deployment situations such as field hospitals and emergency response, as well as temporary systems for pop-up events, touring, cultural and sports programs. In addition, MulteFire can also be used to complement existing private wireless deployment in licensed spectrum, for example, to add capacity by tapping into the large bandwidth available in the unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum band.

“The MulteFire 1.0 Certification Program is a significant milestone for the Alliance and represents the diligent efforts of our Certification Working Group to bring this program to the industry,” said Mazen Chmaytelli, president, MFA. “We are also excited to share that we have already certified the first MulteFire radio and device solutions from Nokia as compliant.”

“By enabling private wireless connectivity in unlicensed and shared spectrum, we enable even more enterprises to deploy their own private LTE and 5G networks,” said Stephan Litjens, General Manager, Nokia Digital Automation Cloud and MFA board chair. “As a founding member of MFA, we’re firmly at the forefront of this initiative – firstly with certification of our own MulteFire CPE offering – and also to accelerate a device ecosystem for the benefit of enterprise digital transformation.”

Through overlapping membership with 3GPP, the MFA is also supporting efforts for 5G NR standalone operation in unlicensed spectrum. A recent ABI Research white paper quantifies the total addressable market size for private network equipment (for industrial manufacturing, ports, logistics, mining, and energy) in LTE and 5G at $32.37B by 2030. ABI also states that by 2030 more than half of industry verticals’ private networks using LTE or 5G will be deployed in unlicensed, shared or dedicated licensed spectrum.

DEKRA Named Authorized Test Lab for MulteFire 1.0

DEKRA, an MFA member and leader in product certification, conducted the certification testing for MulteFire 1.0 and DEKRA Malaga has been named an Authorized Test Lab for the MulteFire 1.0 Certification Program. DEKRA was already named the first Authorized Test Lab for the MulteFire 1.9 GHz sXGP Certification Program launched in Japan at the end of 2019.

“DEKRA is very pleased to continue its partnership with the MFA with the addition of MulteFire 1.0 testing to our services offering, and we are happy to contribute to the success of the MulteFire ecosystem,” said Andrés Moreno, Managing Director, DEKRA Testing and Certification Spain.

The MFA Certification Program is available to all MFA members. Upon device certification, companies will receive the ‘MulteFire Certified’ logo and certification mark for product promotion and marketing purposes. The MFA welcomes membership from all companies that have an interest in private wireless networks.

Click here for more information on the MFA Certification Program.