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Test and Measurement: Companies highlight automotive test offerings

Test companies are spotlighting their automotive test offerings ahead of next week’s Automotive Test Expo in Novi, Michigan.

Tektronix launched new software for two of its oscilloscopes to support the Controllers Area Network with Flexible Data Rate protocol. CAN FD is being adopted by automakers to support more data transmission inside vehicles, because it allows faster bit rates and bigger payloads than the original CAN specification, Tektronix said, but that also prompts new testing challenges.

Anritsu plans to highlight its automotive testing solutions, including a new capability for dedicated short-range communications for vehicle-to-vehicle transmissions and new software for testing chipsets and telematics modules. The company will be presenting a roadmap on LTE and how to test connected car systems.

Rohde & Schwarz will have its automotive offerings on display, including radar testing and radio frequency and audio testing for infotainment systems – but those will be part of its participation at Electronica 2016 in Munich early next month.

In research published earlier this year, Markets and Markets estimated that the global automotive test equipment market will be worth $442.9 million this year, and will expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 6% over the next five years to reach more than $600 million.

“The growing demand for high-performance vehicles and increasingly stringent safety standards are some of the key drivers fueling the growth of this market,” the firm concluded.

In other test news:

– Demand for network optimization is driving a boost in the market for radio access network planning and capacity management, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

Frost reported that the RAN capacity management solution market – including RAN-focused traffic management, data analytics and both probe- and RF-based capacity planning and optimization offerings – will reach $659.3 million by 2020, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 19.1% between 2015 and 2020. Market drivers include advances in software-defined networks, virtualized network functions and self-optimizing networks, the “internet of things” and the advent of “5G,” according to Frost.

“By increasing the utilization rates of individual network elements, solution providers will gain more market share from network equipment vendors,” said Olga Yashkova, measurement and instrumentation program manager at Frost & Sullivan, in a statement. “Both testing and network equipment vendors can resolve this issue by collaborating with each other, as partnerships will increase the reliability of network elements and enhance the presence of RAN capacity management solutions across geographies. Smart RAN capacity management solutions will further help address the high costs of human capital for network operators.”

Spirent Communications’ Tweakker device intelligence offering has a new version of its app for auto-configuring and setting up access point names for iOS devices that are connected via mobile virtual network operators.

Spirent said that Tweakker’s first edition was used to set up more than 1 million devices and the new version provides a more intuitive setup for situations where an MVNO runs several APNs to segment services. The new APN app is fully automated and sends an iOS auto-configuration message to the customer when it detects a device entering an MVNO’s network; or the configuration can also be triggered through a self-care web portal or a customer service representative.

Spirent noted that because most mobile devices come with APN settings pre-installed for mobile network operators but not MVNOs, that usually means MVNO subscribers must manually configure their devices and that may mean that subscribers who bring their own Apple devices to the MVNO network may not be able to access data services – impacting both customer satisfaction and MVNO revenue.

Intertek recently acquired EWA-Canada, which offers services including certification testing and network security evaluations. According to Intertek, the deal will mean a more comprehensive offering aimed at product integration for the IoT. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NetScout continues to integrate products from its acquisitions into its overall portfolio. The company has launched a new network analysis tablet that is integrated with NetScout’s nGeniusOne service assurance platform. The OptiView XG tablet originated with Fluke Networks, which NetScout acquired in a major transaction with Danaher Communications completed last year. The new NetScout edition has a customizable dashboard, enhanced reporting and serves as a portable analyzer for diagnosing issues in both wired and wireless local area networks, according to NetScout. It also provides best practice tips on troubleshooting.

– Thai mobile service provider TrueMove H is using Procera’s ScoreCard to assess quality of experience for mobile broadband across the operator’s 2G, 3G and LTE networks. ScoreCard measures throughput, latency and packet loss for each subscriber as well as records location, device and service plan information, and rates the network in letter grades from A to F in application categories such as streaming video, social media and voice apps. The two companies said that ScoreCard “has already identified several areas of investment that will improve the [quality of experience] of the TrueMove H network, and action has been taken to enhance the subscriber experience based on ScoreCard’s recommendations.”

ABOUT AUTHOR

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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