The Global Certification Forum (GCF) set up a working group to focus on testing and certification requirements for IoT devices and applications making use of mobile connectivity.

In a statement, GCF said the group will initially support 3GPP Mobile IoT standards including NB-IoT, LTE-M and EC-GSM. This will be “expanded to capture many flavours of IoT standards” it said.

Lars Nielsen, general manager, said: “GCF can help ensure these new products and services are fully interoperable with mobile IoT networks so that they can realise their full potential. However, we are keen to engage with manufacturers, developers and functionality providers beyond GCF’s traditional participants and encourage them to bring their experience and insight into the IoT Agreement Group.”

GCF’s IoT Agreement Group will develop and maintain certification criteria and testing procedures which enable device makers and app developers to “realise the full potential of innovative IoT services” by connecting over secure, operator-managed licensed spectrum.

It will also look at how device certification needs to integrate with application-layer standards from groups such as OMA and oneM2M. As well as working with these and IoT-related groups within operator industry association GSMA, the intention is also to “engage with industry organisations dedicated to promoting IoT in specific vertical markets”.

Taking into account factors such as sensing, cloud computing, analytics, data processing, systems and IP security, combined with new requirements for device management and service provisioning, GCF said IoT is “very different from the handset market that GCF has been supporting since 1999”.

Certification reduces the risks and costs associated with interoperability issues which may only emerge after devices are deployed.

The first GCF-certified products incorporating NB-IoT or LTE-M are expected later this year.