Test-equipment vendor Aeroflex and software firm Etherstack will jointly develop and market products to support Project 25 protocol conformance testing, the companies announced.

Many public-safety users have expressed frustration that some vendor radios advertised as being compliant with the P25 over-the-air interface do not interoperate as expected. Aeroflex and Etherstack officials are hopeful that their suite of products will let public safety depend on something other than vendor tests to determine whether radios meet the P25 standard.

“Instead of passing the buck, we're providing an independent, unbiased, third-party testing source,” said Rob Barden, Aeroflex's director of product marketing for radio test solutions, who predicted the suite would be useful to independent testing labs, vendors and users.

The test suite will consist of applications software developed by Etherstack and the Aeroflex 3900 radio test set. The solution will be able to perform base-station emulation for testing mobile devices mobile emulation for testing base stations in a synchronized manner.

Currently, the P25 standard only references the over-the-air protocol, but the promise of additional standards being established later could result in additional partnering, said David Deacon, managing director and CEO of Etherstack.

“In the future, I think we would be interested in expanding the relationship,” Deacon said.