Test system vendor Anite has expanded its business horizons beyond its familiar territory of wireless devices and the radio access network, and is taking on some hefty opponents in a bid to win business in the 4G evolved packet core (EPC) test system market.
The company this week launched Triton, its LTE wireless core testing system that comprises a base hardware platform that can run a host of test applications. The initial launch comes with some pre-loaded applications, including those that monitor signaling loading, assess network asset availability, and track device usage. (See Anite Launches LTE Packet Core Test Tool.)
That puts Anite plc head-to-head with the likes of Tektronix Communications , EXFO (Nasdaq: EXFO; Toronto: EXF), Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA), and Spirent Communications plc . So why launch into a niche (but important) market already heaving with experienced incumbents? (See China Mobile Research Institute Uses Spirent for EPC Testing, Tektronix Tests Diameter Performance at LTE Core, and EXFO Aids VoLTE Tests.)
Richard Jacklin, Anite's business development director, says the LTE market is still at its early stages and that there's "a lot of evolution still to come and a lot of complexity… and the constant push towards virtualization" that will result in a much broader set of tests needing to be conducted on the heart of the 4G network. Having a hardware platform that can run multiple test applications, and which can be used in the lab and in the field, is "disruptive… the current solutions in the market don't really offer that."
He adds: "We're used to competing against larger players. In the handset test market we compete with companies like Anritsu and R&S. We believe we're more agile and there are people in the market who have told us there is a real need for a product like Triton."
The EPC test system market could be worth about £100 million (US$168 million) per year, reckons the Anite man, so gaining a slice of that would be helpful for Anite, which generated revenues of £109.2 million ($184 million) in its most recent financial year to the end of April 2014. (See this full year report.)
Anite hasn't jumped into this market alone, though: The core functionality of the Triton product was developed by fellow UK developer Telesoft Technologies. "They developed it, and we are helping to productize it, tailoring it for the telecom market and using our industry connections," states Jacklin.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading