Corporate History

Corporate History

Comtest Laboratories began as the test house for the Australian Government’s Telecommunications department “Telecom”, and assessed the compliance of all telephony products including transmission, protocol and safety standards for terminal, data and PABX equipment.

Comtest was later privatized with most staff transitioning from Government-run Telstra to the new “Comtest Laboratories Pty Ltd”. Comtest was structured under the management of Greg Caspar (Business Director) and Peter Arms (Technical Director). Under the guidance of Peter Arms and Greg Caspar, Comtest expanded into new fields of safety testing, performance and approvals testing and efficiency testing. Comtest maintained the lead in A-tick (RCM) testing and is still the only Australian test house that is NATA-accredited for testing all telecommunications technologies including xDSL and ISDN. Comtest also has a wide range of accreditations for Europe and New Zealand.

When Comtest Laboratories relocated to the present address of 1/570 City Road, South Melbourne, Victoria, it enabled an expansion into new testing fields, and included the installation of a screened room and a high voltage laboratory. Shortly after, Comtest's management, realizing the compliance and regulatory needs of their customers, formed a subsidiary company “Compliance Folder Management Pty Ltd”.

Comtest maintains a close relationship with ACMA and the state electrical regulators. This association has assisted Comtest's customers with compliance and approvals issues. Comtest has since been accredited as a Certification Body to assist industry in gaining access to the market for products where there is no Recognised Testing Authority, and by Telecom New Zealand Access Standards to most PTC standards including all the digital standards. As well as being determined as a European Designated body for the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) and the Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (TTE Directive), Comtest is also accredited for testing to the Minimum Energy Performance (MEPS) standards and efficiency standards, and can perform testing for various Government energy saving schemes.

Comtest's status as a both a NATA-accredited laboratory and a CB Scheme Testing Laboratory (CBTL) has ensured Comtest maintains the highest level of technical competence as required by both NATA and the IECEE.

In April 2013, Comtest Laboratories had its accreditations increased to provide equipment calibrations as a public testing service. This accreditation covers two categories: indicating and recording instruments (such as multimeters and LCR meters) and frequency analysers / waveform measuring instruments (including oscilloscopes).

Comtest has always been involved with standards development committees and industry forums. For example, Comtest participated in the committees that developed the AUSTEL and then the ACIF standards and continues to do so. Comtest is a member of Standards Australia, Australian Industry Group (AIG) and the Communication Alliance (formally ACIF). Comtest is also a founding member of ECTA, the Electrical Compliance Testing Association of which Peter Arms was president for 10 years.