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LTE Deployments Drive the Handheld and Portable Test Equipment Market

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The global handheld and portable test equipment market is expected to witness technological changes and rapid growth, as the focus of end user industries shifts to battery operated, integrated test equipment. Improvements made in battery technology also make handheld and portable instruments more attractive. Furthermore, LTE deployments across the world will bolster the market growth as RF handheld instruments are increasingly used in installation & maintenance applications in the fields of air interfaces, access networks and network performance.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenue of $2.11 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $2.95 billion in 2019.

"The explosive growth of wireless data and the expansion of next-generation LTE, 3G and 4G wireless networks in several countries boost the use of handheld and portable instruments in field applications," said Frost & Sullivan Measurement and Instrumentation Industry Manager Sujan Sami. "Radio frequency handheld instruments, in particular, are increasingly used in the installation and maintenance applications of air interfaces, access networks, and network performance."

However, several customers are opting for low-cost products from Chinese test vendors to reduce capital expenditure, thereby hurting the prospects of established suppliers. In fact, a number of these Chinese companies have lifted their standards to meet customer expectations making inroads into third-world countries, like Egypt and Taiwan.

Moreover, the continuing downturn in Europe and the bleak economic environment in Japan due to the recent nuclear disaster, limit investments in handheld and portable test equipment in these regions. As a result, global vendors will be compelled to decrease prices to remain competitive.

"Providing low-cost solutions that also cater to ever-growing customer needs is the key for success in this market," iterated Sami. "Apart from enhancing the features and functionalities of handheld and portable instruments, product differentiation and brand recognition will be crucial to widen their use, especially in R&D labs."

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