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Test and Measurement: Keysight collaborates with Semtech on LoRa test

Keysight Technologies is collaborating with Semtech, the company behind the LoRa low-power wide-area network technology for the internet of things, to develop LoRa testing support in Keysight equipment and software.

Keysight said that Semtech provided it with technical information for LoRa that it will use to provided dedicated LoRa testing support in Keysight’s X-series signal analyzers and signal generators, its 89600 vector signal analyzer software, and its E6640A EXM wireless test set.

“IoT presents a significant opportunity in the context of Keysight’s mission to enable a connected and secure world,” said Kailash Narayanan, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s wireless devices and operators business “LoRa is one of the key LPWAN technologies that Keysight is pursuing to address industry-specific IoT needs. We are pleased to have this strategic collaboration with Semtech and deliver an industry leading solution to help our customers gain confidence in their LPWAN designs.”

Keysight also said this week that it is expanding the products available through its premium distribution partners in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India; and announced that its FieldFox test equipment was used during two days of testing in September to characterize a radar instrument antenna being tested by the European Space Agency for use in a mission to explore Jupiter’s moons with radar technology.

In other test news:

EXFO is proceeding with its planned takeover of Astellia. EXFO purchased a 33.1% stake in Astellia in September, then announced in October that it planned to make an offer for the outstanding shares of the company. EXFO went ahead with that public offer this week, offering nearly $12 per share to Astellia shareholders — the same price that it paid for its 33.1% state off-market. Astellia’s board has unanimously recommended that existing shareholders sell to EXFO under those terms.

– The test equipment market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.55% and reach nearly $29 billion by 2023, according to a new report from Markets and Markets. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to see the fastest growth, and market drivers include “increased penetration of modular instrumentation, increasing technological advancement towards networking and communication, increase in the adoption of electronic devices, and increased [research and development] spending,” according to Markets and Markets.

-Test company MTS Systems had a record revenue year, the company reported in its most recent financial results. Record annual revenue came in at $788 million, up 21% year-over-year; and MTS’ best-ever orders for the most recent quarter were driven by its test orders, which were up 12% year-over-year to $153 million. However, net income was basically flat for the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, at about $5.6 million; and net income for the fiscal year was down slightly, coming in at $25 million compared to $27.5 million the prior year.

“This was a watershed year for MTS as we completed our evolution into a comprehensive ‘test and measurement’ company, having the critical mass, technology leadership and customer service needed to support our customers in key markets and geographies worldwide,” said Dr. Jeff Graves, president and CEO. Much of MTS’ growth in revenues during the year was driven by its 2016 acquisition of sensor company PCB Group, which Graves said that MTS has “substantially integrated.”

“We are convinced more than ever that, with the strength of our sensors product portfolio and the scale to support customers worldwide, this growth trend is sustainable in the years ahead. This is particularly true as the major economies continue to grow, and as our key end markets for industrial automation and the testing of new products in OEM and University laboratories around the world, expand,” Graves added.

MTS has also been doing some restructuring that was initiated during the most recent quarter, which accounted for $3 million in costs during the quarter; the company expects another $1 million-$3 million in costs for restructuring during 2018.

NetScout launched its LinkRunner G2, which it says is the industry’s first Android-based network tester and puts wired Ethernet test capabilities onto an Android operating system — so Android apps (like those of access point vendors, or speed test apps) can be accessed from the same device that is used to conduct wired network testing.

“The use of apps on smartphones may be considered an alternative by some, but it often creates security risks and is not always practical due to connectivity issues. Namely, personal mobile devices have no ability to validate wired Ethernet infrastructure – they cannot test [power over Ethernet], cabling, link negotiation or network services, so multiple tools are needed,” NetScout said. The Android-based operating system for the LinkRunner is “hardened,” according to the company, to address security concerns. Free Android apps, but not those that involve charging, are available for download onto the LinkRunner G2.

ABOUT AUTHOR

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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