Test and Measurement: Viavi Solutions gets a piece of Openreach network monitoring

U.K. network provider Openreach is using Viavi Solutions’ Optical Network Monitoring System (ONMSi) to speed up its ambitious Full Fibre broadband deployment through remote validation and monitoring.

Under the Full Fibre initiative, Openreach has committed to building out millions of new fiber-to-the-premise locations to expand broadband access. In the short term, the company has promised to build out fiber to around 4.5 million premises by the end of March. In the longer term, it expects to have 20 million homes passed with FTTP by the mid-to late 2020s, depending on investment conditions. The company has said it is building out at a rate of adding 40,000 homes and businesses every week.

Viavi said that Openreach selected ONMSi for the platform’s ability to remotely validate new construction, perform pre-activation checks and monitor service.

OpenReach is also using solutions from EXFO, which is providing optical test heads and test access switching for the Full Fibre initiative as well as remote monitoring after deployment. Both Viavi and EXFO have longstanding relationships with OpenReach.

In other test news:

Anritsu partnered with Multiwave Sensors on a new measurement and reporting app that combines antenna alignment and line sweep measurements. The Smart Aligner app is available for Android smartphones and tablets and it creates close-out reports that can be saved as pdf files and emailed from the site location across the cellular network, so that work can be checked before crews leave the site and

The app creates a single report for confirmation that all required line sweep and antenna alignment measurements have been completed. Smart Aligner can create that report on-site by copying files directly from Anritsu’s test equipment into a smartphone with a USB flash drive, Anritsu said; images can also be added for visual confirmation of work quality.

Anritsu also said this week that it has upgraded its millimeter-wave Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) anechoic chamber MA8172A with a testing option for temperature tests of 5G mmWave user equipment. The chamber is designed to be used with Anritsu’s Radio Communication Rest Station MT8000A and its New Radio RF Conformance Test System ME7873NR, and Anritsu said that by supplying cool air from an air conditioner or similar source, the system can be configured for 3GPP’s Extreme Temperature Condition test environment that spans a temperature range from –10° C to +55° C. The temperature test option is available both on new CATR chambers and as a retrofit to existing ones.

Rohde & Schwarz has joined the FiRa (Fine Ranging) Consortium, which focuses on development and adoption of Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology (not to be confused with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband mmWave network branding.) R&S is developing UWB test solutions for R&D, certification, and production, including for time of flight (ToF) and angle of arrival (AoA) measurements, as well as device calibration procedures. Full story here.

-In case you missed it, Ericsson has announced some interesting demonstrations recently. It worked with China Broadcasting Network and Unisoc to test 5G 4T4R in the downlink at 700 MHz and achieved speeds of more than 600 Mbps, and also put together what it says is the first trial of 5G TDD-FDD carrier aggregation for coverage extension with Telia in Norway. Read those stories here and here.

-5G and LTE radio and test company Benetel plans to participate in the U.K.’s SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC) and provide its Open RAN radio units (RUs) to SONIC, which is a joint program between Digital Catapult and regulatory agency Ofcom to do laboratory testing and validate small-scale implementations of Open RAN solutions.

Amphenol, which provides antennas and interconnect solutions for mobile networks and devices, is buying measurement, simulation and sensor company MTS in a $1.7 billion transaction. MTS shareholders approved the deal this week.Once the acquisition closes, however, MTS’ test and simulation business will be sold to global industrial company Illinois Tool Works (ITW) for an undisclosed sum, while Amphenol will keep the sensors business. MTS had acquired the sensors business in 2016 went it bought PCB Group, with an eye toward a more comprehensive integration of sensors with its solutions for transportation, physical infrastructure and other applications. ITW’s testing and electronics segments made up about 16% of its $12.6 billion in 2020 revenues and supports electronic and semiconductor manufacturing processes and assembly.

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