Test and Measurement: EXFO Increases T&M Sales, Narrows Losses


By Kelly Hill

EXFO saw sales of its test and measurement solutions grow during the most recent quarter and the company narrowed its losses compared to the same time last year.

EXFO reported a net loss for the of US$2.4 million, compared to about US$9 million during the fiscal second quarter of 2020.

This year’s second quarter saw T&M sales up 36.8  per cent year-over-year, while EXFO’s Service Assurance, Systems and Services (SASS) segment sales dropped 2.1 per cent. EXFO did not that the year-over-year growth should be taken in the context that during the same time last year, the coronavirus pandemic forced a one-month shutdown of its Shenzen, China, factory in early 2020, which had a negative impact on revenues.

EXFO CEO Philippe Morin called the results “solid” and added that he was “particularly pleased with our strong bookings that reflect increased market demand, driven by catch-up spending and early deployments of 5G, cloud-based networks, as communications service providers get a better handle on transforming their networks during the coronavirus pandemic. Recent success in securing multi-year contracts bodes well for the footprint expansion of our Nova Adaptive Service Assurance platform with a growing number of RFPs … for 5G standalone network monitoring systems expected in 2021 and 2022.”

In other test news:

–Keysight Technologies said this week its 5G device test offerings now support 5G protocol conformance test cases to validate location-based services in 5G New Radio. The LBS protocol test cases are mandated by both the Global Certification Forum and PTCRB.   Keysight said that those test cases are supported on its S8704A protocol conformance toolset, which relies on Keysight’s UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform.

Keysight also said recently that it has been working with chipset maker MediaTek to test 3GPP Release 16 5G features, helping to push Rel. 16 development toward maturity.

–Rohde & Schwarz activated a 5G NonStandalone network in one of its two factories in Germany last year. The network is still in the early stages of integration, but the company is already using insights from testing it (with its own test solutions, of course) to inform how it approaches testing for 5G private networks.

In other R&S news, the company this week unveiled new R&S ZNA high-end vector network analyzer models that have maximum frequencies of 50 GHz and 67 GHz. Rohde also introduced a new option, K88, for its R&S RTO and R&S RTP oscilloscopes, which enables compliance testing for the IEEE 802.3ch standard for automotive Ethernet.

–Verizon and Honda are working at the University of Michigan’s MCity connected vehicle testbed to explore how new edge-based 5G could ensure reliable connectivity between road infrastructure, vehicles, and pedestrians. Read the full story here.

–Anritsu recently announced what it says is an industry first: Its Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A achieved downlink throughput of more than 7 Gbps in 5G Standalone mode with a MediTek M80 5G modem, using Frequency Range 1 (sub-6 GHz) and Frequency Range 2 (mmWave) Dual Connectivity. “This industry-first achievement demonstrates Anritsu’s commitment to contribute to the development and wider rollout of new 5G services, which, through its collaboration with MediaTek, verifies leading-edge 5G technology features,” the test company said.

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