Test and measurement market readying for IoT and 5G networks

5G network testing
Test and measurement (T&M) solution vendors such as Anritsu, Keysight Technologies, Rohde & Schwarz, Spirent Communications and Viavi Solutions are readying for IoT and 5G networks.

One of the drivers of the communication testing segment will be the research and development of 5G mobile communication networks, and their subsequent deployment by 2020. Sporting events, smart cities and drive for Industry 4.0 will create opportunities for test solutions and condition monitoring.

Telecom industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan says communication testing will be the biggest and fastest growing segment of the test and measurement industry. The size of communication testing market will be $25 billion by 2025.

According to Ericsson Mobility Report, the number of 5G mobile subscriptions will reach 150 million by 2021. It is important to note that the year 2021 will be the first full year for the commercialization of 5G globally despite attempts by Verizon and AT&T, two leading wireless operators in the U.S., for 5G services even before 2020.

GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) says that there will be more than 270 5G networks by 2025. Global telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, SoftBank, KT and Vodafone revealed their 5G networks investment and innovation plans at the recently concluded GTI 2.0.

IT research firm IDC says the IoT market size will grow from $655 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion by 2020. Consumer IoT devices will exceed that of smartphones and tablets combined by 2020. Home automation and controls will make up over a third of the global consumer IoT installed base. Retail, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation will present the biggest opportunities for IoT.

“To keep pace with the end-user markets, test vendors have to shift to software upgradeable instruments; offer predictive analytics, Big Data analytics, virtualized testing; and adopt new business models such as software as a service,” said Prem Shanmugam, senior consultant – Measurement & Instrumentation at Frost & Sullivan.

Opening up of the US automotive and auto parts market to Japanese exports could result in huge test opportunities within the Japanese automotive industry.

5G test solutions at MWC

At the Mobile World Congress, Rohde & Schwarz, Viavi Solutions, Keysight Technologies, Anritsu and Spirent Communications showcased their pre-5G and 5G testing solutions.

Anritsu, one of the key players in T&M space in India, has showed its capabilities supporting the development of 5G networks across the spectrum of network architecture, air interface, network access and service assurance.

Recently, Spirent Communications announced 2.5G and 5G BASE-T Ethernet test solution for telecoms.

Viavi Solutions, which showcased the telecom industry’s first 10 Gbps Ethernet Microprobe in the SFP+ form factor, with embedded application awareness, targeting opportunities in the 5G networks market.

At the MWC 2016, Keysight Technologies showcased its 5G millimeter-wave waveform generation and analysis, 5G channel sounding, 5G beamforming, and IEEE 802.11ad device testing design and test tools.

Rohde & Schwarz has showcased its three different test setups: 5G and WLAN signals with bandwidths up to 2 GHz, generation and analysis of 5G air interface candidates and 5G channel sounding.

NI says 5G will evolve wireless networks to heights never before imagined, but its pursuit doesn’t come without challenges.

As multiple telecom operators, such as Vodafone, AT&T, Verizon, Singtel, MegaFon, and Softbank, are currently testing 5G technology, ABI Research forecasts 5G to start around 2020, with capital expenditures anticipating 5G starts a few years ahead.

Image source: Frost & Sullivan

Vina Krishnan
editor@telecomlead.com