5G is becoming real, and in many cases, people’s first 5G experience is going to come via Wi-Fi, said Adam Smith, director of product management at test company LitePoint.

“Actually, Wi-Fi is going to be a huge piece of how we interact with [5G], particularly with the fixed wireless 5G networks,” Smith said during a recent RCR Wireless News interview at Mobile World Congress. “Because effectively 5G signals, whether it’s [sub-6 GHz] FR-1 or millimeter wave FR-2, at the end of the day, fixed wireless is going to translate that into a Wi-Fi signal.”

In some ways, 5G will allow Wi-Fi to reach its full performance potential that has been limited by the speeds of wireline networks.

“When your wide area connection goes from this restricted little pipe to having this big, fat pipe of data you can shove through there now, this really is going to open and expose how Wi-Fi performance really works at the end of the day on the end user,” Smith said.

Watch the interview with Smith — including making 5G testing simple and scaling 5G in deployment and in manufacturing test — below:

In other test news:

-Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that the test equipment market in Asia-Pacific will see a compound annual growth rate of 3.5% through 2022, with market revenue growth increasing to nearly $1.3 billion in that time period, compared to about $1 billion in 2017. Divya Saiprasad, principal consultant at Frost & Sullivan, said that the region’s strong growth for the test market is “mainly due to government ambitions and strong investments in communication infrastructure in Asia-Pacific” and offers the highest growth rate among the countries that test equipment manufacturers operate in. The firm named Keysight Technologies as the market leader, adding that Keysight’s acquisition of Ixia has pushed it past Rohde & Schwarz.

Broadband Forum says that VMware and the European Advanced Networking Test Center will serve as technology partners for the Forum’s new European Open Broadband Lab (it already has an Open Broadband Lab in Asia, jointly established with the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance). Open Broadband Lab Europe (OBLE) will begin supporting test campaigns of Broadband Forum members in mid-2019, the organization said, in order to “validate multi-vendor interoperability of virtualized solutions and broadband access infrastructure aligning with Broadband Forum standards on full Network Function Virtualization infrastructures.”

-Korean carrier KDDI has adopted Anritsu’s 5G protocol test solution for 5G New Radio device acceptance testing.

Synopsis this week announced what it says is the industry’s first solution for USB4-related verification and a test suite for the new standard, which utilizes USB Type-C connectors and higher speeds as well as Thunderbolt 3. USB4 test development is ramping up in anticipation of the release of the final standard later this year; Teledyne LeCroy last week launched a protocol analyzer for USB4 that it said was the first of its kind.

Rohde & Schwarz has joined the Ingoldstadt Urban Air Mobility initiative, which is focused on designing and testing aircraft for deployment as part of smart cities. Ingoldstadt is a European Union model region for such research, and the Ingoldstadt UAM work is supported by the European Commission. Rohde & Schwarz noted that “achieving urban air mobility depends on the seamless integration of various technologies into aircraft, such as onboard sensors, flight connectivity, communications links and air navigation,” and that it will draw on its experience in aerospace, communications and automotive testing.

Bureau Veritas reports that its test lab in Korea is the first OmniAir-authorized test lab in Asia, to offer Dedicated Short-Range Communications testing of onboard units for vehicle-to-vehicle communications. OmniAir Consortium is a U.S.-based industry group focused on standards development, interoperability and certification for connected vehicle systems and tolling. DSRC got a boost over cellular vehicle-to-everything technology this week with the news that the European Union has chosen DSRC as the basis for intelligent transportation communications.

-Test house TÜV Rheinland is using Keysight’s eCall conformance testing offering for verifying the implementation of emergency calling capabilities in cars and vans — a European Union regulatory requirement that went into effect last spring. Georg Hariskos, engineering expert in vehicle and component test at TÜV Rheinland, said that Keysight’s offering has substantially reduced test times and includes automation of GNSS test cases.  Keysight noted that the solution supports 2G, 3G and 4G emergency call systems and can also test Next Generation eCAll or eCall over LTE.

Meanwhile, at the Open Compute Project’s global summit this week, Keysight’s Ixia Solutions Group focused on 400 Gigabit Ethernet speeds. Ixia was part of two demos showcasing 400GE switch capabilities: one that the company described as a “first-of-its-kind full box 400GE test at 12.8 Terabytes per second” with Marvell, and a second demo validating Delta Networks’ 400GE  switches’ performance for use in hyperscale data centers. Ixia also dipped into validation of automated updates of a microservices-based network infrastructure based on Snaproute’s Cloud Native Network Operating System.

PCTel saw lower revenues and a net loss in its most recent quarter and in its full-year results.  The company reported that revenues of $21.2 million for the quarter were down 9% from the same period last year, and full-year revenues of $83 million were also down 9% from last year’s full-year results. PCTel said that both its test and measurement and antenna segments saw lower revenues. Net loss for the quarter was about $9 million and for the year was nearly $13 million, compared with profits of more than $3 million during the same quarter last year and yearly profits of about $3.8 million last year.

CEO David Neumann acknowledged that the year was “challenging,” but noted that the company did see sequential growth in revenues and earnings during the fourth quarter.


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