Measuring the Impact of 5G: How Electronic Test and Measurement (ETM) Manufacturers Can Prepare for and Benefit from 5G

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  • Author: Randy Oltman

For many, that short statement is both a beacon of hope and a source of trepidation. This is especially true for test equipment manufacturers. While 5G offers the opportunity for healthy growth, there are several factors that will make reaping benefits from this generation of wireless broadband technology more challenging than it was for its predecessors. Let’s start with the current situation for electronic test and measurement (ETM) manufacturers.

What generates growth in the wireless ETM business is the combination of new handset models, an increasing volume of annual handset shipments, and wireless technology advancements that drive new infrastructure equipment. We have seen a reduction in the growth rate of handset shipments, as annual shipment volumes have started to exceed 1 billion units. At the same time, mergers and acquisitions in the wireless infrastructure industry have reduced the number of customers in that segment. Finally, ETM manufacturers have also been coping with delays in the deployment of LTE-advanced carrier aggregation in major markets. The result is a slowing market for LTE R&D and production test equipment, as the industry awaits the technology shift to 5G.

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