A new Frost & Sullivan report predicts that the test equipment market for software-defined radios (SDR) will grow from $1.57 billion in 2014 to $2.83 billion in 2021, an 8.8 percent annual growth rate.
Keysight Technologies, Rohde & Schwarz and Anritsu account for more than 72 percent of the SDR test equipment market, according to Frost & Sullivan. Cobham, LitePoint and National Instruments comprise most of the rest of the market. Competitors with a small amount of market share include RADX Technologies, General Dynamics and Astronics Test Systems.
The Frost & Sullivan report looked specifically at electronic test equipment used for the development, manufacture and field support of SDR. SDR is a reference to radio communications in which some or all of the physical layer functions are software-defined.
Frost & Sullivan Measurement and Instrumentation Industry Director Jessy Cavazos said that while SDR provides for a high level of flexibility and uses a wide range of features and options, this increased complexity demands thorough testing across the product lifecycle, from research to deployment.
Another key finding of the study is that radio manufacturers hope to enhance the speed of testing by doing away with the need to switch between instruments to perform all the necessary measurements. Manufacturers are working to address this by developing configurable equipment and instruments that can work in tandem.
Cavazos believes that the U.S. is the most developed market for SDR, partly due to the fact that the U.S. military pioneered usage of SDR. Europe is the second most developed market for SDR. Frost & Sullivan believes that Asia presents a strong opportunity for vendors, as military forces in China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore are moving to adopt SDR.
SDR provides high levels of interoperability and security, which explains why SDR is largely used for military and public safety purposes. Other verticals include network infrastructure, automotive and health care, according to Cavazos.
- see this Frost & Sullivan press release
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