An Oregon test and measurement equipment company with international alliances is poised for what it hopes is a wave of demand from companies building personal communications services networks.
“Test equipment is an integral part of installing a PCS system. And we think testing will be the key part of their decisions, based on cost,” said Thomas Brinkoetter, marketing manager of Beaverton, Ore.-based Tektronix Inc.
Tektronix wants to be the dominant supplier of PCS test equipment for all PCS technologies evolving in the U.S. market.
“We think there will be a winner and it likely will be the American (Global System for Mobile communications) standards. But no matter how the standard goes, we will have something,” Brinkeoetter said.
The company has taken two important steps in the last two years to position itself for flexibility,
Tektronix established an alliance with Munich, Germany-based Rohde & Schwarz GmbH, an exclusive supplier of GSM-based measurement equipment for the 1800 MHz personal communications network in Europe.
Rohde’s GSM-based DCS-1800 equipment is being refigured to operate at 1800 to 2000 MHz for U.S. PCS frequencies. The result is the Digital Communications Service (DCS) 1900 standard measurement solution available from Tektronix.
The instruments in the company’s series CMD and CRTP equipment provide analysis and control for testing signaling strength and RF performance of mobile phones and base stations. The CMD55 Mobile Phone Test Set simulates the operation of a base station, complete with two transmitters. The CMD57 Base Station Test Set functions as a spectrum analyzer and signal generator. CRTP equipment can verify interoperability, and can be used to test “what if” situations.
Tektronix also is allied with Advantest Corp. of Tokyo, a leading supplier of test measurement equipment for technologies, including the Personal Handy Phone and Code Division Multiple Access. PHP is being implemented in Japan at 2 GHz.
Tektronix and the two partners also have been licensed by Qualcomm Inc. to manufacture and sell infrastructure and subscriber test equipment based on Qualcomm’s CDMA techonolgy.
All three systems-GSM, a hybrid PHP/Wide Area Communications Systems called PACS, and CDMA-are among the technologies vying to be U.S. PCS standards, along with a Time Division Multiple Access and a hybrid TDMA/CDMA technology.
Initially, several standards are expected to be implemented in the United States, said Tektronix officials.
“One constant in the equation is the need for measurement support,” Brinkoetter said. “All PCS equipment must undergo testing from design to manufacturing to interoperability to installation and service. There are several key questions for PCS providers: ‘Will there be measurement support for the PCS standard that I choose?’ and ‘Can I rely on fully tested products from my vendors?’ and ‘Will I have the PCS test capability necessary for network installation and maintenance?'”
PCS providers and network operators are concerned with quick and easy testing on two fronts, he said – verifying interoperability of equipment from different vendors and ongoing maintenance and service of PCS network elements.
The alliances give Tektronix the right to market, distribute and service Advantest equipment throughout North America and Rohde & Schwarz equipment throughout Canada and the United States. Customers will have a single point-of-contact and a board portfolio of test equipment will be offered through the alliance, Tektronix said. The companies also will engage in joint product development.