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Test and Measurement: Sprint launches ad blitz for ‘better than ever’ network

Sprint is trying to capitalize on recent favorable testing results with a new advertising campaign that proclaims its network is “better than ever” — emphasizing how much its network has improved by comparing by its own past performance and coverage to its present capabilities, rather than pitting itself against competing national carriers.

Among the carrier’s points: it has increased its LTE coverage by 30% and nearly doubled its speeds in the past two years, and that its network recently had its “best-ever showing” in Ookla speed tests in 123 cities. RootMetrics has noted several times in its analysis of testing data during late 2017 and 2018 (in markets such as the New York metro and San Diego) that Sprint has made substantial improvements in its network speeds, particularly with improvements at the metro (rather than state or national) level — even though it generally still lags behind the speeds of the carrier networks.

“We want to reach every wireless customer in America to show them how much our network has improved and encourage anyone who wants a great network, coupled with incredible savings, to give Sprint a try,” said Roger Solé, Sprint CMO, in a statement.

In other test news:

-Test lab company PCTest will use Anritsu’s Communications Test System MT8000A to test specific absorption rate (SAR) for 5G devices in its labs in Columbia, Maryland and San Jose, California. SAR testing measures body absorption of electromagnetic energy during transmission and whether devices are operating within established radio frequency exposure limits; Anritsu’s equipment will be used to emulate a 5G New Radio network for SAR testing purposes.

MTS reported $197.9 million in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter, down just slightly from the $201 million in revenues that it reported during the same period last year. Profits for the quarter were up, however, from about $5.6 million to $10.8 million.

Full-year revenues of $778 million were also down about 1.3% year-over-year, but full-year net income increased from about $25 million to $61 million.

Jeff Graves, president and CEO of MTS, said that the company is “very pleased with how we ended the fiscal year, with increasing momentum across both of our business segments.” He noted that the company’s sensor business had an “outstanding” year. “While the test ground vehicles sector remains sluggish by historical measure, all other test equipment sectors, as well as our test services, were robust, leading to a 50-year record order level for the second half of fiscal 2018 in our test business,” Graves added. “This performance puts us in a solid position for growth and margin improvement for test in the year ahead.”

MTS also noted that it has officially closed on the acquisition of E2M Technologies, which will be added to its Test segment; E2M provides motion simulators for flight simulation and the amusement ride industry, both of which “offer substantial growth opportunities for the future,” MTS said. E2M is expected to add a nearly $30 million in revenues to the company in fiscal 2019.

UL is now an approved lab for certifying LTE devices for operation in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service band. The test company said this week that it has is now a Wireless Innovation Forum CBRS-approved lab and an authorized test lab for the CBRS Alliance, meaning that it can begin offering WInnForum’s CBSD certification program for LTE devices operating in CBRS spectrum.

Spirent Communications launched a new offering for testing Wi-Fi 6, otherwise known as 802.11ax. Spirent TestCenter WLAN 802.11ax testing can be used for feature testing, functionality testing and performance testing of Wi-Fi 6 access points as well as end-to-end testing of access controllers and gateways, the company said. The solution “emulates a large number of realistic WLAN clients through both the in-chassis 2.5G/5G Ethernet and 802.11ax Wi-Fi test ports to easily achieve multi-Gbps throughput,” Spirent added, and supports Dynamic Frequency Selection test coverage via an integrated radar signal emulation tool that enables either conducted or over-the-air RF testing.

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