Electronic Test Equipment Sees Strong Demand in Africa's Telecoms Sectors

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Efforts to widen network coverage across Africa, and upgrade 2G and 3G networks to 4G in South Africa, is driving the demand for electronic test equipment in the telecommunication sector. Telecom operators are increasingly looking for spectrum analysers to test and validate the mobile networks to improve the quality of their service as signal strength in Africa is very poor.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, finds that the market earned revenues of $28.3 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $47.5 million in 2019. The study covers oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers, network analysers, millimetres, signal generators, power meters, electronic counters, logic analysers, and arbitrary waveform generators.

"The growing demand for oscilloscopes, signal generators, and spectrum analysers in the education sector is lending momentum to the market," said Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Research Analyst Janani Balasundar. "Market participants should roll out comprehensive electronic test equipment with multiple functionalities to cater to the needs of technical research and PhD students."

Further, security investments in the aerospace and defence industry - the largest end user of spectrum analysers for frequency-monitoring applications, network analysers, signal generators, and power meters - are growing the market. Heavy infrastructural investments in other industries are also fuelling the uptake of millimetres and boosting prospects for electronic test equipment manufacturers.

However, the poor economic condition and unstable currency of South Africa, a trading partner to several neighbouring sub-Saharan countries, is delaying projects and slowing down the growth of the electronic test equipment market in all of these countries.

"Electronic test equipment vendors should focus on fast-developing countries like Ghana and Nigeria, where there is great market potential," advised Janani. "They must also constantly make end users aware of the latest technologies in the test and measurement industry to strengthen their market position across Africa."

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