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Electronics Production | September 19, 2011

xDSL Test Equipment with sustained demand

The service provider segment is the mainstay of the European x digital subscriber line (xDSL) test equipment market, as service providers are frantically trying to move broadband services to a digital plane.
Digitisation is expected to facilitate service convergence through network upgrades, which, in turn, will spawn a need for test equipment to conduct performance and interoperability testing for very high bit rate DSL2 (VDSL2).

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of EUR 56.7 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach EUR 92.3 million in 2016.

VDSL2 technology will enable network service providers to offer high-definition Internet Protocol TV (HD IPTV) and standard definition (SD) IPTV over multiple channels. IPTV has found rapid uptake in the European market, with the number of DSL-based IPTV subscribers touching 15.5 million in March 2010.

“The popularity of such new broadband services will go a long way in enhancing the handheld xDSL test equipment market,” says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Srihari Padmanabhan. “This is because the new services will require on-demand test and monitoring to accurately identify, diagnose and isolate network problems for rapid trouble resolution.”

R&D and functional type test equipment will find many takers among service providers and equipment manufacturers to ease interoperability testing and upgrades from asymmetric DSL2+ (ADSL2+) to VDSL2.

The xDSL market may also offer a plethora of opportunities, but test equipment manufacturers will be hard pressed to keep pace with the technological innovations and constant changes in the network architecture. In addition, the global economic slowdown has impeded service providers’ efforts to prepare their networks for delivering high-bandwidth services such as video on demand.

Economic conditions and competition limit service providers’ overall revenue per user, whereas there is no decline in the demand for more services. In the long term, these factors are likely to restrain services providers from investing in new test equipment. However, considering the range of novel services on offer, there is a need to test them for noise, quality of experience (QoE) and quality of service (QoS).

“Technicians require a portable test solution that can support multiple technologies including ADSL2+ and VDSL2,” notes Padmanabhan. “Introducing such test equipment in the market will help manufacturers address the needs of triple play and IPTV testing markets.”

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