Heavy deal-making among test and measurement equipment makers will benefit users of the equipment

Industry observers have probably noted that there's been an escalating number of acquisitions in the test and measurement space but is this consolidation in the T&M space good news for the industry?

Here's a rundown of some of the latest M&A moves and juxtapositions: 

  • JDSU's plan to split into two companies will be complete by Aug. 1. One company, Viavi, will have the legacy JDSU test and measurement business and a run rate of roughly $950 million in annual revenues. The laser and optical side of the business, soon to be known as Lumentum, will have annual revenues of roughly $800 million.
  • NetScout closed on its acquisition of Danaher's communications business last week, including its Test & Measurement segment, in a deal valued at $2.3 billion.
  • Keysight Technologies purchased Anite in a $607 million deal. Keysight makes test and measurement equipment, while Anite is a U.K.-based maker of equipment for testing handsets and telecom networks.
  • Finally, Anritsu and Bluestem announced that they are collaborating on certain models of test and measurement equipment in a way that will add advanced capabilities to their equipment, the companies say.

Analyst Olga Yashkova, program manager for Frost & Sullivan's Test and Measurement Communications Group, told FierceInstaller that the number of players in the market continues to be large, so there is no reason to be concerned that there has been too much consolidation.

Companies are trying to provide "one solution, compared to two or three or ten," Yashkova said. The market is "trending toward a one-stop shop," she added. She believes that there will be more features and capabilities added into a given solution.

While 5G standards are not yet carved in stone, it is possible that the complexities of 5G and increasing evolution toward LTE-Advanced are helping to drive some of the deal-making. Companies that succeeded in a 3G world may not succeed with 5G and LTE-Advanced unless they adapt and gain new capabilities.

End users of test and measurement equipment may find all the deal-making confusing and chaotic. However, the changes are probably to the better. Better equipment is likely in the offing, while competition in the test and measurement marketplace should continue to be robust. --Jeff