Report finds BERTs gaining prominence in telecom apps

Aug. 7, 2008
August 7, 2008 -- Research and Markets (Dublin, Ireland) announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's report, "World Bit Error Rate Testers (BERT) Markets," to its offering.

August 7, 2008 -- Research and Markets (Dublin, Ireland) announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's report, "World Bit Error Rate Testers (BERT) Markets," to its offering. The market study is designed to provide an overview of the BERT market while presenting in-depth analysis of its various segments, comprising traditional and functional BERT. The study discusses technology trends, end-users and various geographies, enabling vendors operating in the space to get a detailed insight into individual market segments. Revenue forecasts are provided from 2004 to 2014.

According to the report, BERTs are gaining increasing prominence in telecommunication applications where protocols are required to achieve specific error rates in order to yield meaningful test results. Most protocols require a BER of 10 to the power of minus 6, using long pseudorandom binary sequences (PRBSs) of at least 32 bits. Data communication protocols, such as Ethernet and Fiber Channel, require a BER of at least 10 to the power of minus 12, and this is accomplished using shorter PRBS patterns. In order to achieve these BER levels, the transmission of bits should exceed the minimum number required within a particular pattern. Performing such a test with a reliable BERT ensures an increased confidence interval for possible error occurrences.

However, the need to align with the standards set forth by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) remains a major challenge for BERT vendors.
Technological evolution and the emergence of new standards for transferring data have meant that manufacturers are under constant pressure to increase the functionality and performance of BERTs. Of particular interest to manufacturers is the eventual emergence of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE), which is likely to bring about a new set of standards that BERT vendors must address in their product offerings, according to the research service

The research maintains that with the emergence of new technologies and data rates (such as 8-gigabit Fiber Channel and the deployment of 40 and 100 GbE networks), it is imperative that end users purchase BERTs that feature the capabilities necessary to perform the desired test processes. This rapid emergence of new serial data rates will continue to provide growth for high-speed BERTs, since they generate a myriad of new test needs that many previous BERTs are not capable of fulfilling. Such functionalities include newer stress eye tests with updated optical transceivers, as well as closed-eye environment test capabilities, which involve technicians' utilization of pre-emphasis and equalization in successfully transmitting data.

In 2007, the traditional BERT market accounted for approximately 63.7 percent of the world bit error rate testers market revenues. However, the contribution of this segment is likely to slowly decline due to the wider adoption of functional BERTs by technicians that will need to turn up Ethernet services in the field, particularly once 40 and 100 gigabit networks become more prominent.

Overall, although the demand for BERT equipment has been increasing in recent years, it is not expected to grow considerably until after the full deployment of 40GbE and 100GbE networks, contends Frost & Sullivan. While there have been some 40GbE networks under deployment (as seen with some service providers such as Verizon), overall adoption rates of such networks have been viewed as slow.

For more information about the report, go to:

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