Accreditation and certification

The GSMA accreditation and certification by Global Certification Forum (GCF).

Setting the standard

Interoperability and Testing (IOT) allows any company to verify the maturity of the implementation prior to commercial launch or operator’s acceptance testing process. The presence of the GSMA’s accreditation indicates that a device, stand-alone app or operator service offering is compliant with the RCS specification.

The GSMA defines four streams in the accreditation process:

  1. Operators: providing RCS services to users;
  2. RCS client providers: producing independent software for end-user devices or embedded solutions from Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) supporting provisioning of RCS services in the operator’s network, or as downloadable clients for use on smartphones;
  3. Hosted solutions: an RCS service offering based on infrastructure components, typically an IMS core and RCS service nodes, independent of any access network; and
  4. Network API-based Products Providers (N-APIs): companies delivering products such as RCS Web thin client, RCS Network API Gateway, RCS Network APIs Application Servers and other RCS Web Solutions (gateway+client).

Get started on self-accreditation

To maximise the synergies between providers and vendors and to accelerate time to market, the GSMA’s IOT accreditation is a self-organised process.

joyn Crane Priority Release (based on joyn Crane Product Definition Document) Test Cases Matrices.

Please note that the formal accreditation process for the joyn Crane Priority Release will be open once the first accredited devices and networks are available (expected in the second quarter of 2016).

joyn Blackbird (based on joyn Blackbird Product Definition Document)

For joyn Blackbird Client Providers (except for those seeking Accreditation Ready status) see ‘Obtaining a Global Certification Forum (GCF) Certificate section below. For all other parties, to undertake the self-accreditation process towards joyn Blackbird for your products:

Step 1. Download and review the Self-accreditation Handbook and documents.

Step 2. When you have successfully completed the self-accreditation process, please sign the relevant self-accreditation declaration form (in the zip folder above) and return it to the GSMA.

NB. The GSMA may take up to one week to validate the test results and update the accreditations list on the webpage.

Licensees will be informed of changes in RCS specification and accreditation aspects on the GSMA website and by email. Nevertheless, licensees shall take the responsibility for revision of those changes and must ensure that their device/platform remains compliant.

For the self-accreditation process, you may require additional information, see below:

Note: to access certain sections of this information you must first sign the Licence Agreement.

Contact us if you need more information or support for the Accreditation process;

Note 1 – Platform limitations apply to messaging experience

Note 2 – Go-to-market limitations apply to messaging experience and provisioning methods

Note 3 – Go-to-market limitations apply to messaging experience and device branding

Obtaining a Global Certification Forum (GCF) certificate

As of November 1 2014, manufacturers of RCS 5.1 v2/joyn Blackbird devices and clients must apply for a licence to use the service mark joyn, based on their Certification by GCF.
Providers of RCS 5.1v2/joyn Blackbird devices or clients will be granted a joyn licence based on GCF certification, assuming that the certificate has been obtained after 1 November 2014 and that it includes mandatory tests for RCS certification.
In most cases, it is sufficient to provide a copy of the GCF certificate to the GSMA in order to be granted a joyn licence. However, there are certain circumstances where additional conditions apply:

If you have not previously accredited an RCS client/device


If the client/device has undergone a major update of Operating System (being defined as change of name or first digit in version number of the OS) since accreditation.

You will also need to provide:

Traces generated while executing joyn test cases in GCF Test Specification TS.11
A User Experience (UX) self-assessment matrix for joyn Blackbird.

Please note that these traces and the UX matrix are for the GSMA’s information only and no further action will be needed for you to obtain the licence.

Contact GCF if you need more information or support for the certification process.

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