Qualcomm Technologies will be using open Radio Access Network testing solutions from Keysight Technologies in multiple test beds in New Jersey, as the chipmaker develops and validates new designs based on open RAN interfaces.
Keysight said that the two companies have done open RAN and virtualized RAN-related work together since 2018. The new test environment is focused on validating the performance of Qualcomm’s 5G RAN platform for small cells, across both radio frequency and protocol measurement domains, Keysight added. Protocol stack interoperability across O-RAN compliant radio units, known as O-RUs, and distributed units (O-DUs), from the physical layer to the application layer, is particularly important, the test company added.
Qualcomm will be using Keysight’s s Open RAN Studio to check O-RAN Alliance specification compliance, and Keysight’s 5G Multi-Band Vector Transceiver to validate 3GPP RF compliance of the RU design.
Keysight is a member and editor for the Open RAN Alliance and said that its work helped the group to pubilsh its first set of O-RAN fronthaul conformance test specifications in August of this year, for verifying compliance of open Radio Units to O-RAN specs using specific, approved O-RAN test cases.
Also of note this week for Keysight is that its test solutions are integrated into Fujitsu’s bundle for private 5G networks — and Fujitsu has a revenue target of about $9.5 billion by 2025 for private 5G. Read the full story here.
In other test news:
–EXFO saw sales drop 7.4% overall for its fiscal 2020, as a result of the global pandemic. That hit mostly came from a 16.4% drop in sales for the company’s Service Assurance, Systems and Services (SASS) segment; sales from its test and measurement business were down only 3.6% year-over-year, and EXFO said that sales of lab and manufacturing test solutions actually saw a “strong increase.” EXFO also noted that despite the downturn in its SASS business, it did gain five new service assurance customers and orders totaling $5 million in the fourth quarter.
The company reported a net loss of $9.5 million, compared to a loss of $2.5 million in fiscal 2019. It has suspended guidance indefinitely due to “uncertainty surrounding the breadth and duration of the coronavirus pandemic” and its impact on economic conditions.
“In fiscal 2020, EXFO experienced the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy which, in turn, adversely affected our revenues and profitability. However, I’m pleased to see EXFO close its fourth quarter on a positive note with strong revenues and cash flows from operations,” said Philippe Morin, EXFO’s CEO, in statement. He went on to say that in the coming year, the company will focus on “high-growth drivers like fiber, 5G and cloud-native deployments, while reducing investments in lower-growth areas. These initiatives should continue to benefit EXFO’s competitive position and enable profitable growth.
“Looking ahead, we are excited about the wealth of opportunities for our T&M and SASS product groups. Demand for field testing equipment should recover with major fiber deployment projects, barring the return of extensive lockdown restrictions with the second wave,” Morin added. “We also expect continued growth from our lab and manufacturing test solutions, especially in the ultra-high-speed area with our pending acquisition of InOpticals. In addition, we expect our Nova Adaptive Service Assurance platform to benefit from the momentum of our recent contract wins, the ramp-up of cloud-native 5G architectures and heightened activity in the network core.”
-A new report from TechNavio forecasts that the global market for automated test equipment will grow by $1.47 billion through 2024, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of more than 4%.
–Viavi Solutions said that it has added half a dozen significant enhancements to its LightDirect module family and the associated MAP-300 test platform for optical labs, production and manufacturing environments. In addition, Viavi released three new fiber connectivity manufacturing solutions, focused on automated connector end-face cleaning, faster measurement modes and a modular, higher-power swept laser.
-Is all the industry talk about 5G confusing consumers? It appears so. In a new consumer survey from benchmarking company Global Wireless Solutions, nearly half of U.S. iPhone users thought they already had a 5G-capable device, even though no 5G iPhone has yet been released (it’s expected to be announced next week). Read the full story here.
–Tektronix has launched a new Keithley-brand parametric test system, the S530 Series, for semiconductor manufacturers to meet test needs for emerging wide bandgap technologies such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide-based chips.
“Analog and mixed-signal semiconductor manufacturers continue to experience strong demand from new end-use applications in 5G communications, automotive, IoT, medical, green energy, and other markets,” says Chris Bohn, VP and GM at Keithley/Tektronix. “This significant test platform update helps those customers bring new products to market more quickly and cost-effectively, while giving them the agility to adapt to new requirements in the future.”