Light Reading
Seven companies have been shortlisted for the inaugural Leading Lights award for outstanding telecom test and measurement vendor.

Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Outstanding Test & Measurement Vendor

Ray Le Maistre
6/16/2014
50%
50%

To recognize the critical role that telecom test and measurement vendor play in the communications networking industry, Light Reading this year introduced the Outstanding Test & Measurement Vendor category to its annual awards program, the Leading Lights. (See Leading Lights 2014: The Finalists.)

The category was created to recognize the telecom test and measurement vendor that stands out from its competitors, innovates constantly, helps set the industry trends, makes investors proud, and makes employees happy.

Here are the seven companies that made the shortlist (in alphabetical order):

Accedian Networks Inc.
Long-time Carrier Ethernet sector vendor Accedian Networks Inc. has, in its own words, "evolved into a core-to-edge monitoring solution provider for mobile backhaul, business services, financial WANs, and data center interconnect," with its Performance Assurance solutions now its primary business. Its V-NID platform, in conjunction with elements, probes, pluggable SFP modules, and virtualized instrumentation, have won the company business worldwide. The vendor has had particular success with Tier 1 mobile operators in Asia-Pacific for cell site monitoring, and has also won significant business for its backhaul network monitoring capabilities.

And now Accedian has prepared itself for the assurance challenges that will come with the introduction of SDN capabilities, teaming up with Cyan Blue Planet to help deliver an integrated proposition. (See Accedian Taps Into SDN and Cyan Forms SDN Ecosystem.)

Apkudo LLC
Baltimore, Maryland-based Apkudo is a mobile device quality assurance specialist that helps "mobile service providers, manufacturers and application vendors pre-test their offerings so they can be brought to market more efficiently, and provide the best possible user experience to improve customer satisfaction and reduce device returns."

Apkudo's testing methodology, which aims to deliver insights normally only gained from post-launch field testing, goes beyond simple pass/fail benchmarks to "a better understanding of how the device, application or accessory will function and how it compares to others in the market." The company "seeks to find and address issues a user would have found post-launch, thereby reducing device returns and increasing customer satisfaction. One carrier estimated annual $500,000 savings in device returns from one device," according to Apkudo.

The company, which says it is profitable, is working closely with the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) on the "Device Hub," a centralized resource that enables CCA carrier members to "more efficiently and economically manage their device portfolios from end-to-end by providing a platform to interact, collaborate and share information."

JDSU
JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) provides a broad range of test tools and systems for "virtually every network environment, from the lab and manufacturing stage right into the home and enterprise."

JDSU is currently very excited about its xSIGHT customer experience assurance solution, which was announced during Mobile World Congress. It is "specifically designed for the nuances that 4G/LTE bring to network planning and visibility… xSIGHT shows a precise view of the network in real time via an intelligence platform that lets operators of 4G/LTE networks access and analyze value-based data from a wide variety of sources across the entire network." JDSU adds that the system is not just a "patchwork view of network performance, customer experience and service performance separately," but instead "combines all of that for a holistic view of issues, all in real-time."

The ability to develop xSIGHT came in part from the acquisition of OSS firm Trendium in January this year, a move that also instantly bagged it a major deal with a major mobile operator. (See JDSU Buys More 4G SPIT Smarts.)

JDSU also acquired Network Instruments in late 2013 to bolster its portfolio in the enterprise, data center, and cloud networking test markets. (See JDSU Acquires Network Instruments.)

NetScout Systems Inc.
NetScout Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: NTCT), which sells network monitoring switches and supporting assurance and analytics software to network operators and enterprises, has been making great strides during the past year with its nGeniusONE platform.

Using the company's Adaptive Session Intelligence technology, this system monitors data and control plane traffic and correlates data, signaling and service enabler performance metrics to reveal critical interactions and interdependencies that affect service performance. By doing that it "provides comprehensive support for mobile and fixed line voice services, including VoLTE, Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), VoIP and legacy circuit switched voice deployments," and delivers a "service-centric perspective of networks, services, devices and subscribers" to multiple teams (operations, customer support, network planning, and so on).

That approach is chiming with the needs of 4G LTE operators, which are driving new and enhanced business opportunities for a company that already boasts 165 operator customers. (See NetScout Ramps as 4G Takes Off.)

S3 Group
Video test specialist S3 Group automates testing processes across multiple video-related devices (set-top boxes, gateways, connected TVs) through its StormTest Development Center platform, which "integrates with head-end software to validate cable, satellite, telco and OTT services across a variety of connected devices." StormTest Development Center is used by more than 50 digital TV companies, including BSkyB, BT, Liberty Global, StarHub, and Swisscom. (See BSkyB Validates HD Platform With S3 Group .)

S3 says the up to 80% of tests can be automated in StormTest, enabling customers to dramatically reduce test times and make more efficient use of test engineers.

The company, which is increasing its revenues and is already profitable, says that during the past year it has enhanced StormTest by enabling HD image handling, adding a large-scale 64-device testing unit, and introducing a new user interface called Navigator that "virtually eliminates the maintenance effort associated with maintaining those tests. Development and maintenance of a robust navigation framework consumes on average 30% of test development resources… with the Navigation feature, S3 Group virtually eliminate this effort." (See S3 Group Announces North America Expansion.)

Spirent Communications plc
Spirent Communications plc (NYSE: SPM; London: SPT), one of the best-known names on the fixed and wireless telecom test scene, is making a major play for the VoLTE test business that is set to ramp up this year and grow beyond 2014 as mobile operators launch their 4G voice services.

The vendor has developed a suite of VoLTE testing solutions for infrastructure, devices and service experience, with its tools spanning the design, development and ultimate launch of a commercial VoLTE-enabled networks and devices. Spirent is particularly focused on LTE device testing, and claims to have "field test solutions that can test any device, on any network, anywhere in the world." (See Spirent Tests VoLTE in the Labs.)

The vendor is particularly proud of Quantum, an automated system for "measuring and driving improvements to the battery life of mobile devices." Spirent says it's "the industry's first user experience analytics system to automatically execute consumer use cases on a mobile device while performing synchronized power consumption measurements."

Spirent has had plenty of other things going on in the past year too. (See Spirent Buys CEM Specialist and Spirent Dumps Its CEO.)

Tollgrade Communications Inc.
Broadband access test specialist Tollgrade Communications Inc. has latched onto the trend for virtualization with the launch (in October 2013) of its Virtual Broadband Technician (VBT) product for broadband service providers. Used by field technicians, the VBT pinpoints the causes of problems at the customer premises (in the home or local access network) that are otherwise difficult to diagnose and that can disrupt or slow down broadband services. It does this by performing 50 tests, diagnosing the problem, and confirming when the problem is fixed. (See Tollgrade Takes Its VBT Test Tool Into the Home.)

Tollgrade claims that "by detecting conditions that other test solutions miss and normalizing the repair process, the VBT pays for itself after the first saved dispatch while improving customer satisfaction."

The company also developed the VBT Manager, a software interface to the VBT that runs on field technicians' laptops. This enables service providers to aggregate all of the results from tests performed by the VBT in the field and transmit these results into the operations center and into the service provider's OSS.

With fixed broadband so pervasive in developed markets, and delivering significant revenues to network operators, improving efficiencies and improving customer satisfaction is high on the agenda of network operators desperate to improve margins and reduce churn.

The Leading Lights winners and 2014 Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled at the Leading Lights awards dinner, to be held the evening of Tuesday, June 17 at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. (For more details, see Bumper Year for the Leading Lights Awards.)

Stick around on Wednesday for the second day of Light Reading's Big Telecom Event, taking place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on June 17-18. (Details and the agenda are on our show site, Big Telecom Event.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business – Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Telefonica Spain Considers Antenna Selection for LTE Network Deployment

7|4|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Tony Conlan, Global CTO of RAN, Telefonica, shares his opinion on antennas in LTE network deployment: Tower space is the premier requirement on antennas; reliability is important to reduce OPEX; and EasyRET solution will be helpful for antenna maintenance.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
dtac Thailand: Multi-band Antenna & Capacity Solution for a Better MBB Experience

7|3|14   |   3:45   |   (0) comments


With the development of LTE, tower space and load are limited for new antenna, but users' capacity requirements are growing fast. To provide a better MBB experience, Panya Vechbanyongratana from dtac Thailand shared his experiences and antenna requirements.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Panel: Network of the Future

7|2|14   |   1:00:57   |   (0) comments


Full-length video of the ATIS Panel Discussion: 'How Far Away Is the Network of the Future & What Does It Look Like?' from the Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago.
LRTV Custom TV
Redknee Supports BH Telecom With Redknee Unified

7|2|14   |   6.14   |   (0) comments


Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO of Redknee, and Amir Orucevic, Director BH Mobile, discuss how the benefits of the Redknee Unified suite of products provide BH Telecom with innovation and leadership in the market, with the flexibility to launch services faster to the market, provide new and compelling promotions and pricing models, and combine services in order to drive ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
Infographics
Allot's latest MobileTrends Charging Report shows that value-based pricing plans are up from 35% in 2011 to 85% in 2014.
Hot Topics
Microsoft to Axe 12,500 Ex-Nokia Employees
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/17/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Have IBM & Apple Partnered Their Way to Cloud Leadership?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/18/2014
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
Analytics, Security Key to Apple, IBM Tie-Up
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed