All wireless communication products depend on radio frequency technology. Mobile phones, wireless personal digital assistant (PDAs), Wi-Fi enabled laptops, Bluetooth headsets, different types of wireless medical devices, and RFID tags operate on RF technology. Radio frequency technology are radio waves that ranges from 3 kHz to 300 GHz. Radio frequency is increasingly being used for communication as well as broadcasting.
RF technology is everywhere. Popularity of RF has further increased with the emergence of disruptive devices and technologies such as connected cars and 5G enabled devices. High demand for RF technology across various industry verticals including health care, automotive, and other manufacturing industries has given rise to RF test and measurement equipment.
RF-based devices are wireless; therefore, testing these present several challenges. Testing and measurement of RF is necessary for the actual working of the whole setup. For RF engineers, continuous development of digital technologies poses immense pressure. Therefore, measurements such as error vector magnitude is highly critical. Moreover, the bandwidths keeps increasing, that ultimately makes designing of the component more difficult. From channel coding to signaling and error handling need to be checked to make sure that the solution is in line with all the specification.
The four major areas where the demand for radio frequency test and measurement equipment is expected to display tremendous growth are connected cars and autonomous driving, various IoT devices, modular instrumentation, and 5G technologies.
The RF testing and measurement is driven by growing use of cellular telecommunication and other wireless communication network include Zigbee, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and NFC.
Systems that operate on radio technology needs to be tested and measured accurately. Moreover, the requirement for testing is much more complicated than it used to be several years ago. This has created a number of problems for the design and manufacturing of RF test and measurement equipment. Major complications faced by manufacturers of such measuring equipment are related to the price of equipment testing, speed of these equipment, size, and ever changing regulation standards related to RF. Apart from the major industry standards, there are many other acceptable standards especially within military and aerospace arena. These standards have their own testing requirement and RF equipment manufacturers need to adapt to these standards to provide accurate testing and measurement equipment to the end-users.
Despite these challenges, there are several opportunities for manufacturers in the market. One such opportunity is to make a compact and small system. End-users do not require large RF test and measurement equipment; however, they demand for smaller systems that are able to provide high-level performance and have several functions. Therefore, manufacturers operating in the market have opportunities to focus on their research and development to develop equipment that are in line with these demands.
The RF test and measurement market can be segmented based on end-user and region. In terms of end-user the market is divided into telecommunication, electronic manufacturing, automotive, medical, defense, and others. Based on region the market is segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa.
Vendors providing RF test and measurement equipment have wide array of product portfolios. The product portfolio largely include, but not limited to, spectrum/signal analyzers, signal generators, network analyzers, power meters and sensors, and electronic counters.
Some of the key players operating in the market are TESSCO, RS Components Ltd., Bird Technologies, European EMC Products, TR PTY LTD., ACMAS Technologies (P) Ltd., FRANKSHIELDS, and Keysight Technologies Inc.
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