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Test and Measurement: WTG buys Holzworth Instrumentation

Wireless Telecom Group has agreed to acquire Boulder, Colorado-based Holzworth Instrumentation. The company makes phase noise analyzers and signal generators, and WTG said that its instruments “are used by government labs, the semiconductor industry, and network equipment providers, among others, in research and automated test environments.”

For the first nine months of 2019, Holzworth had revenues of about $4.4 million, according to WTG’s Securities and Exchange Commission filing on the transaction. WTG will pay $8 million in cash at closing for Holzworth, plus $1.5 million in deferred cash payments and half a million in WTG stock, according to the filing.

WTG said that it expects the transaction to close “in the months ahead.” WTG’s current brands include Boonton, Microlab, Noisecom and CommAgility.

Timothy Whelan, CEO of Wireless Telecom Group, said that WTG remains “focused on executing our long-term strategy” and called Holzworth “a complimentary business for our test and measurement segment, which serves a common customer base with common channel partners. This acquisition is expected to drive future growth and accretive profitability to our test and measurement segment by the attractive margins of the business. Holzworth is an established test and measurement brand, well known for their ultra-low phase noise, high stability phase noise analyzers and signal generators.”

Whelan said tht Holzworth’s instruments “meet demanding performance specifications in a unique form factor at an attractive price point, allowing them to compete with some of the largest test and measurement equipment manufacturers worldwide” and that the company’s portfolio is “a perfect complement to our specialty noise generation and higher performance radio frequency power measurement solutions. The Holzworth acquisition is aligned to our focus on the growth of test and measurement solutions, which we believe will enable the future of wireless technology in radar, satellite communications and 5G,” he added.

WTG also announced its results this week. The company reported $10.8 million in revenue, down from $14 million in the same period last year. The company recorded a net loss for the quarter of $461,000, compared to a profit of $558,000 in the third quarter of 2018, and also had negative foreign currency impacts to the tune of $491,000.

In other test news:

Rohde & Schwarz and LG have teamed up to successfully verify geo-fenced wireless emergency alerts on an LG G8 ThinQ smartphone, using a test set-up that includes the R&S CMW500 radio communications tester and the R&S SMBV100B vector signal generator. Wireless Emergency Alerts 3.0 features allow such alerts to be broadcast to devices within a targeted geographic area.

R&S noted that the Federal Communications Commission has imposed Enhanced Targeting Rules for such alerts, which require wireless service providers “to reach 100 percent of the targeted geographic area specified by government issuers, with no more than a 0.1-mile overshoot.”

“Geographic targeting is a necessary mobile device feature as alerting citizens not affected by a specific emergency could cause unnecessary panic and safety risks,” the company added.

The test solution for WEA 3.0 also supports 3GPP conformance and network operator test plans for LTE, WLAN, WCDMA and GSM location based services, according to Rohde & Schwarz.

R&S also said this week that the Global Certification Forum and the PTCRB have both accepted first test case validations in sub-6 GHz and LTE band combinations using the company’s 5G radio frequency conformance test system, its R&S TS8980FTA-3A. The updated version of the R&S TS8980 “has officially been accepted by GCF and PTCRB as suitable for the 5G RF requirements described in the 3GP  specifications,” the company added, noting that its TS8980 solution supports testing from 2G to 5G with the addition of its flagship R&S CMX500 as an extension box.

Anritsu touted its 5G protocol and radio frequency carrier acceptance test coverage this week, saying that it is a leader in both areas for an unspecified Tier 1 U.S. operator and has more than 200 validated test cases available. Anritsu added that it has 100% validation coverage of sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave frequencies for that Tier 1 and “has become the sole approved test equipment vendor platform providing … 100% coverage.”

Anritsu claims to be the first test equipment vendor to exceed 300 cumulative test cases validated across three Tier 1 U.S. operators.

Allot released a report this week on measuring quality of experience and dealing with network congestion, and communication service providers’ concerns about the impact of IoT and 5G traffic. Read the full story here.

Keysight Technologies is taking aim at support for Industry 4.0 with the release of its new i3070 series 6 In-Circuit Test portfolio for electronics manufacturers. The company said that the suite of solutions is designed to “improve test throughput and the operational efficiency of … printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) manufacturing.”

As manufacturing operations evolve to support 5G, the internet of things, and the changing needs of the automotive and energy industries, “they need test systems that can provide high throughput as well as consistent and repeatable results to leverage the advantages of a ‘smart factory’ environment including Industry 4.0.,” Keysight said. The new ICT offering supports a range of PCBA sizes for applications in those areas, the test company said, adding that it has ” aunique design that delivers the shortest signal path between measurement circuitry and devices under test to minimize undesired effects from parasitic capacitance, improve immunity to crosstalk, and eliminate stray signal coupling effects, delivering consistent and repeatable measurements.”

Broadband Forum said that the Gfast technology for higher wired broadband speeds to the home/premise is gaining steam, and it will be holding a Gfast plugfest hosted by the University of New Hampshire’s InterOperability Lab next week. Broadband Forum said that Cisco, Broadcom, Adtran and Nokia now have Gfast solutions that have been certified by UNH-IOL, which is the forum’s official Gfast test house.

“These additions widen the options available for carriers to confidently deploy Gfast technology globally,” the forum said in a release, adding that “In addition to a number of 106a profile certifications for Cisco, Broadcom has joined Adtran, Intel, NetComm, and Nokia on the growing list of companies that have successfully completed certification with the new 212a profile, which demonstrates interoperability between 212 MHz Gfast products. This signals market readiness for multi-vendor installations in this highly anticipated segment of the market.”

Dekra is the first test lab to be authorized for MulteFire Alliance’s certification program. Watch interviews with MulteFire Alliance and Dekra below:


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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