JDSU Seeks Wireless Test

To continue its series of test and measurement buys, JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) might turn its attention to the wireless sector soon.

CEO Thomas Waechter said as much on last night's earnings call. (See JDSU Reports Q4.) "We do benefit on the fixed backhaul and back into the core network. We're looking to see if there are opportunities where we can be directly involved in the wireless transmission test as well," he said.

JDSU's test division focuses largely on the optical network, and in that sense, the company benefits from wireless growth by helping in backhaul and core networks. Testing of radio signaling gear would be a new area for the company, though.

Teradyne Inc. (NYSE: TER) claims the lead in automated test equipment for RF, and of course, Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) plays in that market, too. (See Teradyne Claims Test Lead and Agilent Tests LTE.)

Naturally, wireless test is becoming a hot topic, as a result of all the wireless buildouts going on. Long Term Evolution (LTE) is especially on vendors' minds and was recently singled out by Spirent Communications plc as a growth driver. Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has gotten into wireless testing as well, with the recent purchase of Catapult Communications. (See Passing the LTE Test, Spirent Looks to LTE in Testing Times, and Ixia Buys RAN Test Specialist.)

JDSU made its big plunge into test and measurement with the 2005 acquisition of Acterna, and the test division has been growing ever since, now accounting for 49 percent of revenues during the quarter that ended in June. (See Test Group Buoys JDSU.)

Recently, the company picked up Circadiant, which offers optical transceiver testing, and the Network Tools business of Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), which tests storage area networking gear. (See JDSU Buys Into Testy Market, JDSU Swallows Circadiant, and JDSU Deal Addresses Finisar's Debt.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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