The technology trends in the test and measurement (T&M) industry are very transient in nature, and it is a continuously evolving market. To keep up with the times, T&M experts are compelled to be ready for the next technological wave with innovative marketing strategies to capture the market. In a discussion with Potshangbam July from Electronics Bazaar, Madhukar Tripathi, senior manager, marketing and channel sales, Anritsu India Pvt Ltd, talks about the latest offerings from the company, the transformation in the T&M market, and much more.
EB: Tell us about how Anritsu’s products are unique in comparison with products from its competitors.
Anritsu’s products are known for their high quality and standards. Many general-purpose instruments supplied in the 1980s and ’90s are still working fine in the Indian market. Anritsu’s production facilities are located in Japan and the USA; hence, production quality control is of a very high standard. Anritsu customers are loyal due to the high quality of its products and the post-sales support offered. Hence they prefer Anritsu for new procurements too.
EB: What is your latest offering in the T&M market? How has the Indian market reacted to your products?
Anritsu offers the latest T&M products for various applications in the telecom industry. Anritsu introduced its radio communication test station, the MT8000A, for developing 5G communications terminals, chipsets and devices. With support for both signalling and RF tests, this all-in-one platform can be configured easily for various tests, including RF, protocol, and use-case tests matching the module construction. Anritsu, which is the leader in 4G testing, is also now taking the lead in 5G. The MT8000A is already well accepted by most chipset and handset companies working in the 5G UE domain.
Anritsu’s Field Master Pro MS2090A, a real-time spectrum analyser, delivers performance never previously available in a compact, handheld instrument. With continuous frequency coverage from 9kHz to 54GHz, the Field Master Pro MS2090A is specifically designed to meet the test challenges of a full range of other wireless technologies in use today, including 5G, wireless backhaul, aerospace/defence, satellite systems, and radar.
Building on Anritsu’s patented ShockLine non-linear transmission line (NLTL) technology, the MS2760A ultra-portable spectrum analyser shatters the cost, size, and performance barriers associated with traditional large form factor instruments, to more efficiently advance millimetre wave technology development. All these products have been well acknowledged and accepted by the Indian market.
EB: What are the new technological trends in the T&M domain? Where is the most growth coming from in India?
The T&M sector has been evolving in pace with the telecom industry worldwide. Nowadays, 5G testing requirements are gaining ground in the R&D sector while mobile handset manufacturing is also picking up in India. Apart from this, the optical fibre cable manufacturing and the aerospace/defence sectors are also growing. The automotive sector, which is using more and more electronic and telecom units in vehicles, is another growing area. Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and ‘broadband for all’ are some of the emerging sectors for optical fibre communication test instruments in addition to the CATV market. IoT, AI and Industrial IoT are some of the new buzzwords in the market.
EB: Do you see any kind of transformation taking place in the Indian market?
Yes, the Indian market is price sensitive. Most of the telecom operators have reduced investments in T&M procurements and have taken the rental route. Hence the rental market is growing. Many low quality, low cost products are available in the market and this has created issues for global companies.
EB: What are your suggestions to potential buyers of T&M equipment?
Buyers must create clear ‘scope of work’ documents, highlighting the application details and what they need or expect from T&M. They should also compare technical specs and costs of the solutions available from all global reputed OEMs, prior to making any final decision. Post-sales support for repairs or calibration must also be kept in mind. The possibilities for future upgrades, scalability and ease of use are also important points to consider.
EB: What are the major challenges in this market?
There is no constant demand in the telecom T&M market. What there is demand for also varies—the requirements of the R&D, production and T&M sectors are different. Sometimes, due to a particular project, demand is very high in one sector, but the same sector does not perform well the next year. The roll out/deployment of a new technology also creates demand for T&M, but this may not continue once deployment is complete. In this domain, the nature of the demand is cyclical, based on the emergence of new technologies.
EB: In your view, what kind of smart marketing strategy can drive the demand for your products in the next five years?
For the telecom T&M sector, all OEMs need to work well in advance and understand market trends and demand. While the industry is yet to settle on 5G as a technology, the seeds are already being sown for 6G (the sixth generation mobile networks). The growth of various sectors (smart automotive or connected car, smart cities, smart grids/utilities) under the telecom umbrella will push OEMs towards bringing out new models and products.
EB: What can we expect next in terms of innovations in the T&M domain?
The T&M industry is innovating in all possible ways to meet the industry’s demand for more accurate and faster measurement, with easy to use instruments that have better GUIs – all of which helps speed up time to market. With the transition time from one technology to another becoming shorter, the T&M industry always has to be prepared for the next telecom wave. Support for multiple applications, along with integrated instruments with higher energy efficiency, is what will be seen in future.
EB: Lastly, what is the size of the Indian T&M equipment market?
It’s very difficult to arrive at an exact number but our estimate of the T&M market’s size is anywhere between US$ 100-125 million. It all depends on the industry, the segment you address or the type of T&M equipment you offer—T&M for telecom is different from T&M for the power or aerospace sectors, and so on.