Africa’s growing mobile network footprint is helping to drive up demand for electronic test equipment in the telecommunications sector.
This is according to research firm Frost & Sullivan, which says “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.”
This testing is being done in the world’s fastest growing mobile market, which the GSMA forecasts to grow 43% by 2017 to hit 346 million unique subscribers.
And Frost & Sullivan reports that the electronic test equipment market earned revenues of $28.3 million in 2013. Meanwhile, this figure is expected to top $47.5 million in 2019.
The research firm includes other sectors, such as education, as contributing to this market.
Frost & Sullivan also says this 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 and 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.”
Frost & Sullivan also adds that 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,” says Frost & Sullivan in a statement.
But a weak currency and economy in South Africa, which is a big trading partner to neighbouring sub-Saharan countries, is delaying projects and slowing down the growth of the electronic test equipment market in all of these countries, says Frost & Sullivan.
“Electronic test equipment vendors should focus on fast-developing countries like Ghana and Nigeria, where there is great market potential,” said 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.”