Communication complexity increases testing need

Paul Boughton

With considerable advancements in technologies such as asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), synchronous optical network (SONET), gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 10gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), the European telecommunication industry is seeing accelerated growth.

‘Internet Protocol (IP) Everywhere’ is the new buzzword in the telecommunications industry and in the progress towards convergence, service providers are competing aggressively to offer triple play (telephony, data and video services) to their customers.

At the recent Broadband World Forum (Europe) in Madrid, Telecom Austria announced the launch of triple play services by the end of this year. In continuance with this trend, more countries are promising to deploy triple play services in the near future and with the convergence phenomenon creating more complex communications systems and networks, the increased need for test equipment is ensuring better opportunities for vendors in the European communication test equipment market.

Also aiding market growth is the rapid adoption of Internet Protocol (IP) technology. Applications such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and IP multimedia subsystems (IMSs) have served to bring about a massive increase in network traffic and consequently, the total broadband lines in Europe grew by more than 65.0 per cent in 2004, with the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Italy registering the highest growth. As service providers continue to roll out content such as Internet Protocol television and IMS, which require reliable and high-speed connections, the demand for more bandwidth is further fuelling growth in the European communication test equipment market.

However, the dearth of market awareness among end-users is proving a challenge for vendors of communication test equipment. Often, the availability of low-cost, reduced-feature test equipment substitute the need for the primary products of these vendors.

Like in the case of VoIP, some services such as Skype are free of cost and hence end-users fail to realise the need for test equipment.

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