Fiber deployment by both mobile network operators and cable MSOs in support of next-generation networks will help drive increased demand for fiber testing, according to a new report from analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.
Mobile network operators are deploying fiber to support 5G, including Fixed Wireless Access, while cable companies are working on more extensive fiber build-outs as well. Frost & Sullivan projects that the market for fiberoptic test equipment will grow from $781.3 million in 2018 to $1.31 billion in 2025, and that a lack of fiber testing expertise among network technicians, combined with the sheer volume of deployments in a compressed time period, presents an opportunity for equipment manufacturers to differentiate themselves.
“A significant development that is impacting demand for optical test equipment is the evolution of 5G and its fixed wireless access (FWA) trials. 5G is expected to support the wide-scale implementation of fiber and boost the demand for test equipment,” said Sujan Sami, program manager for Frost’s Measurement and Instrumentation practice, in a statement. “Telcos and cable MSOs will be the biggest growth drivers for FOTE manufacturers, generating $4 billion in revenue between 2018 and 2025.”
North America is the largest regional market for fiberoptic test equipment, according to Frost & Sullivan, but demand is also growing in Europe and in Latin America. The analyst firm said that successful vendors will be the ones which tap into growth opportunities including collaborations with Tier 1 and 2 service providers on innovation and addressing workforce skills gaps in fiber testing; providing smarter, customized Optical Time Domain Reflectometer testing; and developing strong networks of partners in strategic locations, as well as good relationships with governments and contractors to support government cybersecurity projects.
In other test news this week:
-It was a record quarter for Teledyne Technologies, which reported its highest-ever quarterly sales of $782 million, up 6.8% year-over-year and its best-ever performance on earnings per share and operating margin. The company has raised its full-year outlook.
“We achieved all-time record sales and earnings per share for any quarterly period,” said Executive Chairman Robert Mehrabian in a statement.
Net income for the quarter was $104.6 million, up 21.8% from the same period last year.
“Each business segment reported organic sales growth as Teledyne continues to benefit from our balanced portfolio of common technologies serving different, complementary markets,” said Al Pichelli, president and CEO of the company. He noted that among Teledyne’s various segments, its instrumentation sales were “led by continued growth of electronic test and measurement systems.” Teledyne’s instrumentation unit reported net sales of $264.1 million for the quarter, up slightly from $262.6 million in the prior year’s second quarter — but within that segment, which also includes environmental instrumentation and marine instrumentation, Teledyne’s test and measurement instrumentation sales were up $7.1 million year-over-year.
-Chipmaker Xilinx, which supplies chips for applications including advanced test and measurement systems, reported record revenues of $850 million for the most recent quarter, up 24% year-over-year and 3% sequentially. Net income for the quarter was $241 million, which jumped 27% compared to the same period last year.
Victor Peng, president and CEO of Xilinx noted that the company achieved the mid-point of its guidance despite being affected by the export control restrictions put in place by the Trump administration to limit tech companies’ sales to Chinese telecom vendor Huawei. Xilinx still saw a 42% year-over-year jump in its revenues from the Asia Pacific region (not including Japan); revenue growth in North America was 3% year-over-year, while its revenues in Europe climbed 16% and in Japan, 20%.
Xilinx reported that in terms of segment growth, its aerospace & defense/industrial/test, measurement and emulation segment accounted for 39% of revenues with a 10% year-over-year growth rates; its wired/wireless unit generated 41% of revenues and saw 66% growth year-over-year.
-Research published in the Annuals of Emergency Medicine called out the burn and shock risks associated with generic mobile phone chargers, citing reported injuries and testing of chargers which found that “generic mobile phone chargers are less likely to meet established safety and quality tests than the brand counterparts.”
In one case cited in the research, U.K. consumer advocacy group Electrical Safety First conducted safety testing on 64 generic chargers provided by Apple, and found that 58% of them “failed the electric strength test, indicating a breakdown of the insulation barrier.” In another assessment of electrical shock risk for 400 generic iPhone chargers, 22 of them “immediately damaged during the testing process and only three samples passed an electric strength test, a 99 percent failure rate.”
“Even with a low-voltage device, if the current is high, then the electric shock can be severe,” said Carissa Bunke, MD, a pediatric resident physician with University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and lead author on the study. Bunke recommended that teens and adolescents, who are frequent mobile phone users, not sleep with plugged-in mobile devices in their beds, and that chargers not be left plugged in while not charging a device.
–Tektronix has released two new software packages for easier testing automotive Ethernet with its 5 and 6 series mixed signal oscilloscopes. Current automotive Ethernet testing solutions require engineers install a directional coupler to separate the full duplex signal, the company said, which adds insertion and return loss and can make it difficult to determine if an error is a result of the system or the additional hardware. Tek’s new Signal Separation software enables automotive engineers to conduct automotive Ethernet testing without disrupting the ECU system or cutting the Ethernet cable to install a directional coupler, the company added, while its new PAM3 analysis package focuses on providing insights into signal characteristics at the system level.
“Vehicles are quickly becoming data centers on wheels, with proven IT technologies finding their way into automotive networks,” said Sudipto Bose, GM for automotive and time domain solutions at Tektronix. “Because safety and reliability are so critical, testing has become more complicated and time consuming. As these new software offerings demonstrate, we are aggressively developing innovative full life-cycle solutions to simplify and accelerate system testing and product development for automotive engineers – while reducing test times and costs.”
Tektronix also recently launched a new series of low-profile digitizers. The Series 6 line, which has a two-unit rack form factor, is the first four-channel digitizer to offer up to 8 gigahertz of bandwidth, a 25 GS/s sampling rate and a 12-bit ADC on every channel, Tek said — and it delivers the same performance across all of its channels, which makes it useful not just for military applications or high-energy physics research, but for 5G millimeter wave, ultra-wideband applications, WiGig and automotive radar, the test company added.
–Keysight Technologies’ Ixia Solutions Group has bolstered its network, application and security test portfolio with a major investment in making end-to-end network testing easier and supporting tests for emerging technologies including Microsoft Azure public cloud implementations, IPv6 segment routing, TLS 1.3 encryption and QUIC video streaming, the company said.
“The ability to quickly and easily test the performance and security of a network infrastructure and applications from anywhere is critical to an organization’s success,” said Sunil Kalidindi, VP of product management for Ixia, in a statement. “The enhancements made to our common test platform, and to our industry-leading test solutions, IxNetwork, IxLoad and BreakingPoint, are the result of the most significant investment in our test portfolio in a decade. These platform improvements and additions, such as IPv6 test chassis management, modern automation, web user interface and improved test execution and management, simplify and accelerate testing for all of our customers.”
Keysight also this week said that it had collaborated with Qualcomm Technologies on the industry’s first Global Certification Forum validation of 5G New Radio conformance test cases for radio frequency demodulation and radio resource management in non-standalone 5G NR mode for 3GPP’s frequency range one (sub-6 GHz). That testing is in support of 5G device development.
–Rohde & Schwarz plans to showcase 5G Broadcast enablement at the media and tech conference IBC 2019 in September, touting its involvement with the 5G Today project in Bavaria, Germany. The 5G Today project is testing 3GPP-standards-based broadcasting — formally known as Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service, or FeMBMS — with a coalition of partners that includes R&S, Kathrein and Telefónica Germany, as well as the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation and the Broadcast Technology Institute IRT.
“Feeding out of the trial, the company will showcase a revolutionary new 5G Broadcast core solution which enables Rohde & Schwarz terrestrial transmitters to deliver LTE/5G Broadcast content,” the company said, calling the offering a “landmark new product introduction [that]makes Rohde & Schwarz the first technology vendor worldwide to offer a complete 5G Broadcast solution.”
–National Technical Systems has appointed a new CFO. Sidharth Nayar joins NTS after serving as CFO at exercise equipment company Nautilus and as SVP of finance and CFO at flooring company Congoleum Corporation.
“As a seasoned CFO, Sid’s experience will be instrumental in providing the right type of leadership and best practices as we continue to grow,” said Rich Adams, CEO at NTS.
–CommAgility, which is part of Wireless Telecom Group, said this week that Viavi Solutions is using its signal processing capabilities in its TM500 5G network tester for base stations. CommAgility noted that it has been supporting Viavi’s 4G network tester solutions since 2007
-Test and sensor company MTS Systems announced that it will have its first-ever analyst day on September 4. The company will release its most recent quarterly results on August 5.
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