Test and Measurement: Verizon set to tune its C Band modeling

Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide effort to test C Band spectrum in order to tune its models for deployment. The carrier was granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission this week to use a 30 kilohertz slice of C Band spectrum at 3.7 GHz (3.700.485-3.700.515 GHz) for a six-month period in the top 46 geographic Partial Economic Areas markets across the country.

In its project description, Verizon said it will have up to 10 data collection teams working on the effort. Each team will have one receiver and will put up a temporary transmitter on a Verizon cell site in order to collect data, then take it down and move to the next test site, repeating the process until the carrier has enough data across each PEA to develop and tune its deployment model for the C Band.

Verizon gained between 140-200 megahertz of spectrum in every market in the contiguous United States during the C Band auction, including 60 megahertz of the A-block spectrum which will be the first to be cleared, by December of this year. Verizon executives have said that work is already underway to ready between 7,000-8,000 sites by the end of this year, so that they can be turned up as soon as the spectrum is available. Verizon said on its most recent quarterly call that it has already spent $160 million on C Band deployment. Those initial C Band sites will be built on existing Verizon infrastructure. Within twelve months of gaining access to the spectrum, Verizon plans to cover 100 million potential customers with its C Band network, with a ramp-up period in 2022-23 to cover 175 million POPs, and coverage of 250 million+ POPs in the period of 2024 and beyond.

In other test news:

Viavi Solutions and EXFO continue to go back and forth on Viavi’s attempts to acquire EXFO while company shareholders are considering a go-private offer from company founder and Chairman Germain Lamonde, with Viavi this week putting out its most aggressive public statement yet, urging EXFO’s board to uphold its fiduciary duty. RCR Wireless News spoke to Lamonde for his view on the situation — read that story here.

National Instruments reported a record quarter, beating the high end of its guidance with revenues of $347 million that is up 15% year-over-year, and record second-quarter orders that were up 33% from the same period last year. On a geographic basis, NI said that orders were up 51% in EMEA, 36% in APAC and 22% in the Americas. “We believe these results are proof that our strategy is working, and our continued market focus is paying off,” said Eric Starkloff, NI president and CEO. Net income for the quarter was $17.3 million, up from about $10.9 million during the second quarter of 2020.

Teledyne Technologies also reported a record quarter with revenues of $1.1 billion, up more than 50% from the same period last year. Net income, however, was down about 31% year-over-year to $64.7 million. The company’s net sales for the quarter included $301.4 million in incremental sales from its acquisition of advanced imaging company FLIR Systems. Robert Mehrabian, Teledyne’s executive chairman, said that the company achieved double-digit growth in segments including its electronic test and measurement instrumentation, and that the newly named Teledyne FLIR “performed very well in its first few weeks under Teledyne ownership.”

Keysight Technologies said that it has gained the first Global Certification Forum approvals for test cases to validate radio frequency (RF) performance in 5G New Radio devices that support 5G Standalone in millimeterwave-wave bands. The test cases are enabled by Keysight’s 5G Device Test Platform, which can test both SA and Nonstandalone modes in both sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequencies.

In other company news, Keysight said this week that it is working with Xilinx and Cisco to support the development of 4G and 5G solutions that share the same fronthaul network, enabling mobile operators to cost-effectively migrate to 5G Open RAN deployments. Full story here.

NetScout has introduced a new solution for network edge monitoring and visibility. Its Smart Edge Monitoring combines synthetic testing and packet analysis and the company said that in scenarios such as companies dealing with a hybrid in-office and at-home workforce, Smart Edge Monitoring “provides early detection of performance slow-downs with analysis throughout the transaction ecosystem, from home-user network, across the WAN, to data center, application and database servers, and to cloud and SaaS providers, to quickly pinpoint the problem.”

“The reality is that the massive shift toward remote work over the past year has exposed fundamental blind spots,” said Michael Szabados, COO of NetScout. “When performance problems begin to develop for the remote user, our smart data transaction tests act much like a smoke detector alerting of a potential problem, which subsequently can be quickly extinguished with the powerful nGeniusOne service triage workflows.”

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