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LTE adoption to boost RF test equipment sales

Posted: 22 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF test equipment? LTE? communication? WiMAX?

RF test equipment is expected to experience a spurt in sales with the adoption of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology as a communication standard. End users will procure RF testing equipment for R&D as well as installation and maintenance applications. Vendors will be hopeful of their market prospects, as LTE and new wireless technologies are likely to enable increased speed and higher bandwidth.

The emergence of multiple input multiple output technology to address shrinking communication spectrum and the need for higher data rates augur well for the RF test equipment market.

The introduction of WiMAX and 3G has created a need for sophisticated test equipment in the telecommunications industry, which makes a robust case for RF test equipment.

Apart from the traditional wireless communications, RF is finding increasing application in the electronics industry.

"For example, while RF was not present earlier in the automotive industry, today, there is a plethora of applications, which include autopilots, hands-off communications, collision avoidance and telematics systems," says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Sivakumar Narayanaswamy. "The prevalence of RF has encouraged the design of system level boards in most industries."

The market will also get a leg up with most legacy system end users seeking upgrades, as they need new systems that can handle the existing test standards.

However, the current global economic downturn has compelled end users to either reduce or defer investments in equipment for testing in research and manufacturing applications. The straitened circumstances had also curtailed capital investments in green-field infrastructural projects in Europe and North America, leading to lower investments in test equipment. Until the world economy recovers, the market's growth is likely to be lukewarm.

"With increased complexity and user experience being key factors in RF test equipment, test vendors need to invest in R&D during the economic downturn to support end-user needs during the impending new investment cycle," notes Narayanaswamy. "Key end-user segments, such as communications and industrial electronics, are poised for growth at the end of the financial slowdown, and demand is likely to remain stable."

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