Frost Portable Test Equipment

Portable electronic test instruments, previously valued more for their portability and dependability than performance, are becoming increasingly multifunctional. The rising complexity of end-user technologies has invigorated the global market, resulting in a new generation of handheld test equipment that is not only high performing, but also scalable. These devices are capable of testing for different standards including global system for mobile communication (GSM), general packet radio service (GPRS), wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) and Long-term Evolution (LTE).

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Opportunities for Handheld and Portable Equipment in the Global Electronic Test Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.26 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $2.92 billion in 2020. The study covers the product segments of general purpose (GP) testers, environmental testers and electrical testers.

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“Handheld testers are selected based on application, accuracy, environments, size and battery life but leading manufacturers are also striving to achieve benchtop accuracy,” said Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. “With advancements in monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) and chip technologies, they are launching testers with new levels of radio frequency performance and ruggedness.”

Meanwhile, manufacturers are seeking to build on the devices’ ease of use by incorporating touch screen control, and its versatility through longer battery life. With advancements in wireless network connectivity, battery-operated instruments can be applied in remote and challenging environments through android and Apple phones and tablets.

Handheld testers are preferred in field settings; their typical applications include radar, telecommunication and signal measurements, as well as cable and antenna testing. Telecommunication is a particularly active end-user segment as telecom service providers desire to perform testing at multiple test points on the network to maintain quality of service (QoS) levels.

In spite of the greater functionalities, the unrelenting price pressures do not allow suppliers to increase product prices. The larger companies are looking to justify price hikes by offering total system solutions or integrated solutions, including value-added services. Smaller companies are unlikely to be able to offer complete solutions, which can eventually lead to consolidation.

“All said and done, handheld devices have lower capital costs than other technologies, and are easy to maintain,” noted Bommakanti. “Field personnel and small industrial establishments value this dependability and low lifetime costs more than the sophistication of emerging or benchtop technologies.”

Opportunities for Handheld and Portable Equipment in the Global Electronic Test Market is part of the Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Global Fiber Optic Test Equipment Market, Global Communications Test Services Market, Mega Trends in Communications Test and Measurement Industry and Global Internet of Things (IoT) Testing and Monitoring Equipment Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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