Microlease Invests $30 Million to Support 5G Testing Capabilities

Microlease, a part of Electro Rent Corporation and supplier and distributor of test equipment and services has made several significant investments in test equipment for the emerging 5G mobile communications standard. The company has increased its entire 5G testing inventory with an investment of $30 million ($10 million in the past 12 months), to serve the growing demand from equipment manufacturers and mobile network operators.

Interest in 5G is being driven by its ability to deliver much greater bandwidths to mobile terminals, the reduced latency of its data transfers, and support for many more terminals per unit area. Each one is helping to broaden the applicability of 5G and is opening up new market opportunities for manufacturers. For example, automakers anticipate that 5G could enable vehicle to vehicle communications with low enough latency to enable autonomous vehicles to manage traffic collaboratively.

In the near term, handset and base station manufacturers are focusing on producing the equipment necessary to serve the rollout of commercial 5G networks. The 5G networks are moving beyond trials to commercial deployments and operational networks are now available in the US and South Korea, providing greater visibility on how operators will build and bill for 5G services. Commercial 5G networks were launched in the UK earlier this year and for those producing 5G equipment, it should be profitable. 

For mobile network operators investing in 5G, quality of service and quality of experience are crucial. Effective testing is essential to optimise signal quality, network throughput and capacity to grow their customer base and achieve return on their investment. Testing is also important to ensure interoperability between user equipment and network infrastructure. To keep up with changing technology and evolving standards network operators and equipment manufacturers need fast, flexible access to the latest test and measurement equipment.

In addition, Microlease is stocking Keysight TechnologiesN9040B UXA Signal Analyzer. With a frequency range of 2 Hz to 50 GHz, it is available in various configurations to suit different aspects of 5G validation work. The company is also stocking the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer, for characterizing wideband components and communications systems.