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Test & Measurement: Agilent beats guidance as it preps for Keysight spin-off

Editor’s Note: The ability to test network and device features and functions is an important piece of technology development and deployment. RCR Wireless News looks weekly at the test and measurement space to see what’s afoot.
Agilent Technologies beat its guidance, with revenues up 7% year-over-year for its most recent quarter and orders up 9% as it prepares for the spinoff of its electronic test and measurement business into Keysight Technologies.
Profits were down from $168 million in the year-ago quarter to $147 million this year. Agilent said its pre-separation costs for the quarter were $62 million.
“Agilent generated strong revenue and earnings this quarter, exceeding the high end of our forecasted guidance,” said Agilent President and CEO Bill Sullivan. “We’re seeing continued improvement in our markets and good order growth across our businesses.”
Revenues for the soon-to-be-independent Keysight segment were up 8% year-over-year. Keysight began operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Agilent earlier this month in preparation for the formal separation in early November. It recently joined the Korea 5G Forum, which was founded by the  Ministry of Science, ICT (information and communications technology) and Future Planning (MSIP) for the purposes of R&D and international collaboration on 5G wireless. Agilent/Keysight is also working with China Mobile to support 5G development.
Elektrobit has layoff plans after reporting its second-quarter results with continued profit loss for its wireless segment. The company said it will temporarily lay off up to 90 people in its wireless group, either full- or part-time, for up to 90 days maximum, in order to achieve about $1.2 million in cost savings that will show up during the third quarter.
That might be enough to put the segment into profitability, after it reported an operating loss of about $1.2 million for the second quarter. Elektrobit said that despite the segment’s loss, results were boosted by the need for research and development for wireless network equipment, with net sales for its wireless segment up more than 14% year-over-year.
Elektrobit’s automotive software and electronics business carried the bulk of the company’s good news, with net sales up more than 20%. Elektrobit announced this week that it is opening a new automotive software development center in Oulu, Finland, as interest in the connected car continues to grow.
Anite said it worked in close partnership with a leading chip vendor to use three-component carrier aggregation (CA) in order to achieve 300 Mbps peak data throughput with 40 megahertz bandwidth.
Using Anite’s Development Toolset, three component carriers with downlink bandwidths of 20 megahertz, 10 megahertz and 10 megahertz were able to reach the category 6 speeds. Three-carrier CA with 20 megahertz channels is expected to allow downlink data rates of up to 450 Mbps.
The ability to test CA scenarios has been gaining momentum in 2014. Aeroflex announced a system supporting testing for three component-carrier CA earlier this year, as did Rohde & Schwarz, which added support for three-component CA downlink testing as well as two-component carrier uplink testing to its R&S CMW500 wideband radio communications tester.
Anritsu now has a manufacturing test license (MTL) with Broadcom, so that the test copmany can now provide certified calibration and verification test solutions for Broadcom’s WLAN and Bluetooth customers on devices such as its MA8870A Universal Wireless Test set, which includes cellular, wireless connectivity and location-based services testing among its features.
Ixia launched new transceiver interfaces for test and measurement of 100GbE network devices on its Xcellon Multis and Xcellon-Lava products. Ixia now supports CFP4 and QSFP28 transceivers. with support for a CFP to QSFP28 interface adapter on Xcellon-Lava and both CFP4 and native QSFP28 interfaces on Xcellon Multis.


Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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