Wireless Week spoke with a lot of companies during CTIA 2013 last week. As part of our Let's Talk series from the show, we caught up with Rhode & Schwartz's Keith Cobler who gave us his take on the show, as well as his company's view of the market.


Keith Cobler, Mobile Wireless Segment Manager North America at Rohde & Schwarz USA, Inc.

What’s new?  

The R&S SMW200A high-performance vector signal generator from Rohde & Schwarz enables faster time-to-market, improves end-device quality, and exceeds important 2G, 3G and 4G digital standards and applications. Featuring versatile configuration options, the range of applications extends from single-path vector signal generation to multichannel MIMO receiver testing. The R&S SMW200A vector signal generator is the only product on the market that provides a baseband generator, RF generator and real-time MIMO fading simulator in a single instrument.  The R&S SMW200A vector signal generator combines flexibility, performance and intuitive operation to quickly and easily generate complex, high-quality signals for LTE Advanced and next generation mobile standards. The R&S SMW200A simplifies complex 4G device testing.

What are you hoping to accomplish at CTIA this week?

Rohde & Schwarz is recognized globally as a leader in providing innovative test & measurement solutions for the mobile wireless industry. We look forward to sharing our latest innovations in test & measurement solutions with our customers at CTIA this year.  

What’s the biggest challenge facing your segment of the industry these days?

Today’s biggest challenges in the mobile wireless ecosystem are around device quality, network performance and time-to-market. All of these levers have a direct impact on the end-users quality of experience, which is vital to the overall health and survival of the industry. For the test and measurement industry, the biggest task is helping customers across the mobile wireless ecosystem meet these over-arching challenges. 

Device quality is nothing new – but with LTE, and especially LTE-Advanced, there are many new technology challenges around these new applications (e.g., carrier aggregation) and use cases (e.g., applications impact on battery life, etc.) that require state-of-the-art test equipment to resolve. 

Network performance is also critical when it comes to meeting customer expectations. In addition to the complexities introduced in the LTE access network, mobile operators still need to focus on the issues around capacity and coverage, but with a new twist due to the advent of small cells and hetnets that require highly portable, yet powerful solutions. 

And finally, because operators rely on new services and applications to generate revenue and attract new users, the ability to get new smartphones, tablets, etc. to market faster is a key strategy.  For test and measurement vendors, this requires high-performance test solutions that work together with the design cycle, helping to simply complex test setups so that products can be brought to market faster without sacrificing quality and performance. 

What’s the biggest source of opportunity? 

The mobile wireless industry is unique in that with every major new technology turn, opportunities present themselves. Given the strategic role that Rohde & Schwarz plays with mobile operators, LTE and LTE-Advanced represent significant opportunity for us, which we have capitalized on by bringing innovative new products and solutions to market.