Q: Is there a particular emerging application or technology that intrigues you?
A: Radar system advances require greater precision to measure narrower pulse widths and/or have a need to examine intra-pulse behavior with finer resolution – including a closer look at rise/fall edge effects or the profile within a pulse compression signal.
Whether engineers are tracking high-speed targets or detecting slow, low, and small objects, better pulse measurement tools are needed. Our new VectorStar™ MS4640B has unique features specifically for these emerging radar applications. VectorStar features PulseView™ and a high-speed digitizer for capturing pulse signals and making S-parameter measurements on them. It can conduct 2.5 ns resolution pulse measurements, which is about 5x better than any other VNA on the market, and has extremely long record lengths of up to a half second, compared to 25 milliseconds previously available. This enables engineers to see performance perturbations on the rising/trailing edges and within a pulse that have been missed by other systems.
The continued evolution of LTE is intriguing, as well. Anritsu has been active in the LTE standard since its inception. Today, we have a clear leadership position in all three aspects of LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation (CA) device conformance tests: Protocol, RF, and Radio Resource Management (RRM). Our market-leading ME7873L RF/RRM Conformance Test System and ME7834L Mobile Device Test Platform have received the most test case validations from the GCF and PTCRB across a single platform type for LTE-Advanced CA. Our MT8820C One-Box Tester was the first single-instrument solution to provide RF testing of CA devices, a capability we introduced earlier this year.
Q: If you are selling into the defense market, are you experiencing any effects of the reduction in defense spending or are you anticipating any impact on your business?
A: Like many RF/microwave companies, Anritsu has a strong presence in the military market. We were awarded contracts for current projects, so we are supplying test solutions to the armed forces and military contractors at this time. Many of our handheld analyzers, as well as general purpose solutions such as the MS2830A and MS269xA Signal Analyzers are being used in defense applications. Certainly, there are not as many contract bids available presently but this was something we expected. As such, we have made the necessary adjustments in operations to compensate for the current situation. We expect military to remain a valuable part of our business in the near- and long-term, as our test solutions uniquely address many of the specifications required by the defense sector.
Q: Deployment of small cells and distributed antenna systems is increasing rapidly as wireless carriers attempt to provide “broadband wireless data everywhere.” If your company is involved in any portion of the “HetNet” market from components through systems, please give us your thoughts on the opportunities it presents or tell us how you feel this market will develop.
A: Small cells and DAS are becoming more prevalent to meet the increased demands for high-bandwidth wireless access from any place at any time. Devices and networks must work at the highest levels due to interference concerns associated with the ever-crowding RF spectrum.
That presents opportunities for Anritsu, as our test solutions deliver the accuracy, analysis capability and other tools required by companies designing and developing components and systems. Our solutions provide the confidence engineers need to validate that the products they are developing will work in demanding environments, including small cells and DAS.
Q: China has long been considered the greatest potential global market for many companies in the RF and microwave industry. Do you feel this is still true? Are there other emerging markets that you believe will be lucrative in the next few years?
A: Anritsu is a global leader in the development of TD-LTE test solutions, so China remains an important market for us. Our ME7834 Mobile Device Test Platform (MDTP) offers the highest number of validated protocol conformance test cases for TD-LTE, including interworking with TD-SCDMA and GSM, for chipset and device manufacturers. Our market-leading handheld analyzers also offer TD-LTE testing capability and are being used for the rollout of TD-LTE networks in China.
While China remains an important market for Anritsu, there are other opportunities throughout the globe for our test solutions. Our sales are worldwide and we expect to have continued growth in the Americas, as well as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as they offer us opportunities to gain market share.
Q: What do you believe will be the greatest challenge for the RF and microwave industry in the next few years?
A: Frequency crowding is a big challenge facing everyone in the RF and microwave industry. Wireless technologies are designed into more and more fields, such as M2M, which means the spectrum will continue to be stretched. High-bandwidth applications associated with the continued growth of 4G usage will also push the capacity of the spectrum. For companies such as Anritsu, that places a responsibility on us to develop test instruments for every stage of the product lifecycle. Our solutions must deliver the highest accuracy, be easy to operate, and have expanded analysis capability to ensure the operation of devices and networks. ♦