Test and measurement; it’s perhaps one of the least exciting sounding aspects of networking you can imagine. But it’s an important and ever-changing market space that in recent years has seen transformation as market requirements have changed and mergers and acquisitions have taken place to respond to those shifts.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the players in the test and measurement space.
Anite (News - Alert) plc is a leading provider of software and solutions to the international wireless market, supplying major device, chipset and network equipment manufacturers, mobile operators and test houses. It provides mobile device, infrastructure and network testing systems based on its specialist sector knowledge and on its proprietary software and hardware products.
Anritsu (News - Alert) is a pioneer in the implementation of next-generation wireless technologies while continuing to support existing standards. It offers solutions for the full range of 2G, 2.5G, 3G, and 4G telecommunications as well as current and next-generation 3GPP, 3GPP2, and IEEE standards including 1xEV, GSM/GPRS, W-CDMA, HSDPA, 802.11, and 802.16. The company’s portfolio encompasses instrumentation ready to test both early next-generation specifications and legacy technologies. From the chipset to the installed product, its wireless test equipment covers the entire life cycle of wireless infrastructure and user equipment.
For more than 60 years, B&K Precision Corp. has been building a reputation for excellence in the design and manufacture of reliable and cost-effective test and measurement instruments. The company’s products are used in a wide range of applications including design, research and development, production line testing, industrial maintenance, and electronic field service. B&K Precision test and measurement instruments are standard equipment in a large number of universities and technical schools which train future engineers and technicians. B&K Precision was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in Yorba Linda, Calif.
Cobham Wireless is a global leader in test and measurement and advanced network validation, with a range of products that includes stand-alone and modular RF and wireless test instruments; IP traffic emulation and NFV solutions; and ATE systems for electronics production. Cobham Wireless’s LTE product line includes a complete range of end-to-end test systems that cover R&D, performance, service, and manufacturing test applications for LTE-A TDD and FDD network equipment and terminals. Cobham Wireless is also a founding member of the 5GIC (5G Innovation Centre) technology research program led by the University of Surrey in the UK.
Danaher test and measurement customers count on the company to help them design cutting edge innovations, keep their businesses up and running and safeguard their network operations. Its instruments platform offers test, measurement and monitoring products that are used in electronic design, manufacturing, and advanced technology development, as well as in electrical, industrial, electronic, and calibration applications. Its communications platform offers monitoring, management and optimization tools, as well as intelligence and security solutions, for communications and enterprise networks.
Danaher’s test and measurement brands include Arbor Networks, Fluke, and Tektronix.
Listed on the NASDAQ and TSX stock exchanges, EXFO is a leading provider of next-generation test, service assurance and end-to-end quality of experience solutions for mobile and fixed network operators and equipment manufacturers in the global telecommunications industry. EXFO's intelligent solutions with contextually relevant analytics improve end user quality of experience, enhance network performance and drive operational efficiencies throughout the network and service delivery lifecycle. Key technologies supported include 3G, 4G/LTE, VoLTE, IMS, video, Ethernet/IP, SNMP, OTN, FTTx, xDSL and various optical technologies accounting for more than 38 percent of the global portable fiber-optic test market. EXFO has a staff of approximately 1,600 people in 25 countries, supporting more than 2000 customers worldwide.
VistaNEO is a mobile network experience optimization software solution that enables mobile operators to closely test and measure subscriber quality of experience throughout the network. It automatically post-processes and aggregates call records and data about subscriber-centric events to power network troubleshooting and optimization activity that truly makes a difference. With VistaNEO, mobile operators’ radio access network engineering teams can drill down into in-depth analyses of live, geo-located subscriber data records to provide previously unavailable measurements of how the network impacts the subscriber experience. Ultimately, this means that mobile operators can better, and more proactively, solve mobile network problems before they impact subscribers.
Finally, VistaNEO’s geo-location engine allows RAN engineers to replace drive tests with geo-located, live call data. Not only does this allow them to identify problem areas geographically within the network, it also means that RAN engineers can take a more statistical approach to network testing and measurement.
Ixia (News - Alert) solutions are used to validate new products and services end-to-end including equipment used in LTE networks, hetnets, and Wi-Fi offload, the quality of services like VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling, and virtualized network functions – these actually need to be validated throughout migration, using a mix of physical and virtualized testing to net the greatest insights every step of the way. Ixia users can put new designs to the test against real-world scenarios, using real-world traffic. Its solutions address automotive Ethernet, broadband, carrier Ethernet, the cloud and data center, high-speed Ethernet, impairment, NFV, routing and switching, SDN, timing and synchronization, Wi-Fi, and more.
JDSU offers lab and manufacturing test, field network test, and premises/enterprise test solutions. Its test solutions address a full range of lab and manufacturing applications, from basic optical connectors and reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer component testing to leadership in 40G transmission and next-generation protocol testing. JDSU has optimized solutions for all phases of the product life cycle, with products that focus on research and development and product validation that provide thorough analysis and solutions for manufacturing test applications that help scale capital investments.
JDSU field test solutions include a full range of portable solutions for home, access, Fiber and metro network installation, maintenance and troubleshooting. Included in the portfolio are solutions for optimizing quality of service and quality of experience that ensure delivery of reliable, high-bandwidth services (including video) to the end user. JDSU test solutions support FTTx, xDSL (ADSL/ADSL2+/VDSL/VDSL2), optical Ethernet, WDM, 10GigE, and OTN, as well as traditional technologies including POTS, SONET/SDH and ATM. They address the needs of installers and IT professionals who manage enterprise local area networks, whether installation or maintenance, ongoing testing, or deploying new applications and services.
The Keysight E7515A UXM Wireless Test Set is a highly integrated signaling test set created for functional and RF design validation in the 4G era and beyond. It provides the capabilities required to test the newest chipset and UE designs, delivering LTE-Advanced Cat 10 data rates now and handling more complex requirements later. The Keysight E6966B IMS-SIP network emulator software is designed to complement the powerful UXM wireless test set, delivering unique capabilities for UE performance testing. These test sets establish data connection to UEs with various radio access technologies, including LTE, W-CDMA/HSPA, and more. With the UXM and IMS-SIP network emulator software, engineers can verify that their UE fully supports VoLTE features such as SPS, multi-DRB, and RoHC, as well as end-to-end voice calls (VoIP).
National Instruments supplies modular, software-defined RF instrumentation that can help with the design and testing of wireless devices. This approach makes it possible for users to harness industry-standard PC technologies, such as multicore processors and the PCI (News - Alert) Express bus, to dramatically reduce test times. With software-defined instruments, users can test multiple wireless standards using one system. In addition, users can employ the PXI platform modularity to easily integrate DC and mixed-signal measurements, switching, and RAID storage devices.
NetScout (News - Alert) is the market leader in application and network performance management solutions that enable enterprise and service provider organizations to assure the quality of the user experience for business and mobile services. NetScout's technology helps these organizations proactively manage service delivery and identify emerging performance problems, helping to quickly resolve issues that cause business disruptions or negatively impact users of information technology.
Rohde & Schwarz is one of the world's largest manufacturers of electronic test and measurement equipment. Its products are used in research, development, production and service environments. As a key partner of industry and network operators, the company offers a broad spectrum of solutions for the newest wireless technologies as well as for RF and microwave applications up to 500gHz.
Spirent is the leader in validating network performance, availability, scalability, and security in virtual and physical networks. The company plays an integral role in the ETSI NFV ISG, leading the development of guidelines for pre-deployment and post-deployment validation of NFV environments. Spirent also plays a leading role in the ONF Testing Council, making significant contributions toward OpenFlow controller and switch validation. Spirent’s virtual and physical test platforms have an identical look-and-feel and support seamless interoperability. Test configurations and scripts are portable across the two platforms. Test traffic can originate and terminate on physical test devices only, virtual test devices only, or on any combination of virtual and physical test devices. Spirent TestCenter Virtual executes on a wide range of hypervisors including VMWare ESXi and KVM/QEMU. It is also compatible with open source cloud management systems, such as OpenStack. Spirent solutions simplify the often daunting task of benchmarking hundreds of different VNF types and flavors by providing exhaustive support for L2-L7 data plane and control plane testing. Spirent’s virtual solutions are optimized using DPDK, enabling users to achieve significant improvements in data forwarding performance, while utilizing a lower number of compute cores for generating the test traffic. Spirent’s test methodology offerings also enable users to easily benchmark vSwitches, vRouteReflectors, vPE Routers, vBNG, vCPE routers, vFirewalls, vWAN Accelerators, vIDS, vIPS, and every element of the vEPC.
Tektronix Communications is a leading provider of insight and analytics for the telecommunications industry. The company’s broad suite of products focus on providing operators with the tools necessary to capture, organize, analyze and interpret data across fixed, mobile and converged multi-service networks. For operators, Tektronix Communications’ technology-agnostic products track and monitor high-value network and subscriber data, in addition to providing the necessary tools to create meaningful observations from this powerful information. Through a comprehensive set of big data and analytics products, Tektronix Communications helps carriers make powerful decisions, enabling them to deliver the best subscriber experience possible and monetize their networks, whilst optimizing opex and capex spend. Spectra2 is the company’s core network protocol and media test solution. It’s designed to validate end-to-end quality of service across legacy, IMS, and LTE networks. Spectra2 makes it possible for operators and equipment manufacturers to fully test legacy and next-generation network elements in tandem to ensure they are operating properly and within specification under loaded conditions. Tektronix Communications’ products support a range of architectures and applications such as LTE, HSPA, 3G, IMS, mobile broadband, VoIP, video, VoLTE and triple play.
Edited by Maurice Nagle