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Mobile Operators Clamor for Wi-Fi Test Equipment


To achieve flawless offloading of Internet data traffic, mobile operators increasingly turn to Wi-Fi as their technology of choice, according to a report by market research analyst Frost & Sullivan. Wi-Fi test equipment has become vital in the effort to enhance user experience and lower the risk of losing smartphone customers. Greater demand for testing will lead to a wider array of innovative solutions, which will likely ensure the steady growth of the global Wi-Fi test-equipment market.

In terms of popularity, affordable, unlicensed, and pervasive Wi-Fi technology has climbed to the top when it comes to handling excessive Internet traffic. Frost & Sullivan’s Analysis of the Global Wi-Fi Test Equipment Market research reveals that the market earned revenues of more than $190 million in 2012, and estimates show that figure will balloon to nearly $443 million in 2018. However, Wi-Fi’s transformation from a convenience service to a scalable and reliable network service necessitates frequent testing.

“The ability for Wi-Fi test systems to identify high-demand service areas and improve experience by enhancing network capacity and performance, while lowering data delivery costs, has accelerated their adoption,” says Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation program manager Olga Yashkova-Shapiro.

By embedding Wi-Fi within mission-critical devices used by companies, small offices, and hospitals (for example, the latest medical, smart-meter, and home-automation applications) has intensified the importance of rigorous Wi-Fi testing. Regulatory bodies are establishing standard testing protocols to ensure seamless operation and improved security between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. These create more opportunities for test-equipment vendors.

Still, equipment suppliers face some tough challenges, such as the increasing complexities of these standards as well as the rapid development of existing, and introduction of new, technologies. Thus, continuous innovation and upgrades become vital to ensure high-quality products. This will undoubtedly lead to growing popularity for integrated, end-to-end test solutions.

“Test-equipment manufacturers must offer cost-effective, software-based, or software-designed solutions that will eliminate the need for multiple tools,” says Yashkova-Shapiro. “Providing greater mobility through roaming test instruments for performance-sensitive applications such as voice and video will boost uptake.”

Another key factor is that vendors will have to educate end users about the need to identify a potential network problem before it occurs. This will be crucial in terms of promoting the adoption of Wi-Fi testing.

Frost & Sullivan’s Analysis of the Global Wi-Fi Test Equipment Market is part of its Test & Measurement Partnership Services program. For more information about the company’s Wi-Fi test equipment analysis, go to www.testandmeasurement.frost.com.

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