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Insights Unlocked

12 Posts authored by: Marie Hattar Employee

It’s official: Keysight Technologies is now certified as a Great Place to Work by the leading global authority on high trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Great Places to Work® surveyed our employees, who said that they enjoy a great atmosphere, great challenges, and great rewards. As a result, 92% are proud to tell others they work at Keysight, which explains why over half of our employees have been with us for more than 10 years. So what is it that makes Keysight a great place to work?

 

Put simply; it’s a combination of fantastic people and the innovative programs that Keysight runs. This combination gives all our employees a powerful sense of being part of a culture that is truly unique and special. The roots of this culture go back 80 years, to when Bill Hewlett and David Packard founded their company in a Palo Alto garage, based on business principles that became known as the “HP Way.” We strive to honor that culture by maintaining a best-in-class work environment that fosters respect for individuals, their ideas, and contributions.

 

Getting onboard

This starts even before a new employee joins Keysight. Instead of using external recruiters, our college recruiting teams are employees in the jobs that candidates will be doing. This gives candidates the opportunity to talk with employees that they can relate to. During the interview process, we bring candidates on-site to meet with team members for a realistic job preview, featuring site tours, lunch in the cafeteria, and lab tours to give our candidates a clear preview of the work environment and culture. 

 

And when new employees join Keysight, we ensure they have a front row seat to see our culture in action. Leaders can be seen and heard helping employees directly. These everyday interactions bring to life Keysight's policy and practice of treating all employees with dignity, courtesy, and respect. They also create an environment where ideas are shared freely at all levels, helping to instill our culture through positive influence.  

 

Inspiration and learning

The positive influences extend through initiatives such as mentoring and “buddy” programs, training, stretch assignments, and special projects. Managers explore the interests, passions, and strengths of new employees and connect them to a team to best utilize those strengths. We also believe deeply in personal and professional development, which is why we offer resources such as Keysight University, which enables timely and personalized employee-driven education based on individual needs and interests.

 

 

Real help in times of real need

In early October 2017, the devastating wildfires in Santa Rosa, California impacted our headquarters and the homes of more than 1,500 employees. Led by our CEO, Ron Nersesian, we immediately put in place a comprehensive crisis management plan. We contacted each employee to check on and offer support for them and their families, and to assure them they would receive full pay while they began to pull their lives back together. We set up a disaster recovery center and gave direct financial assistance to those who lost their homes or were displaced.

 

To help employees get back to their normal lives, we set up an Employee Relief Fund, to which Keysight employees around the world have donated more than $1 million, and a share vacation bank that allowed employees to donate their time off to those impacted by the fires. We also offered professional support and counseling to affected workers in the aftermath of the fires.

 

Supporting diversity

Keysight is committed to diversity and has set up programs to attract the most diverse pool of candidates, along with outreach efforts to empower under-represented groups. We are truly an equal opportunity employer, and our personnel policies and practices are built on the principle that all employees are treated with dignity and respect. A particular focus is investing in the success and advancement of female employees, helping to develop the next generation of engineers. That’s why we foster long-standing relationships with organizations that empower and inspire women — such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). We also run programs in schools and universities to introduce women to engineering and technology subjects.

 

Driving positive change

At Keysight, we believe the purpose of corporate social responsibility is to do good, not just to look good. We have a long tradition of outstanding corporate citizenship, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played to enrich the many communities where we operate. We continuously assess our impact on the environment, reducing our emissions, and conserving more energy and water every year, as outlined in our recent blog. A key part of our CSR programs is also actively supporting employees in working on philanthropic and environmental projects, and education-based initiatives, to help them reach their full potential both inside and outside of the workplace.

 

These are just a few of the many reasons why Keysight is a great place to work. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming part of our valued team, why not start your journey here?

Marie Hattar

One Step Away from 5G

Posted by Marie Hattar Employee Aug 10, 2018

One of the challenges with introducing a revolutionary new technology is that people want to be able to use it right away. They don’t want to have to wait to enjoy its promised benefits. 5G is a good example: it’s been publicly showcased at scale, and initial rollouts are under way. But it will be 18 months or more before services start on the path to ubiquity. And in the meantime, customers are demanding ever-faster mobile data connections.

 

Ericsson’s Mobility Report from June 2018 stated that monthly data traffic per mobile device in the U.S. will increase by nearly 7x, from 7.2 GB today to 49 GB in 2023. This upward trend has been steady since 2011, representing a 43% compound annual growth rate in traffic per smartphone subscriber. Further, cellular networks are becoming the central platform for connecting IoT devices and enabling M2M communications. The result is that service providers have to satisfy these growing, seemingly insatiable demands now, while they continue to build, test, and deploy their 5G networks.

 

The good news is that implementing new capabilities of 4G LTE can help to meet those demands. 4G LTE-Advanced Pro (also known as 4.9G) can satisfy subscribers’ appetite for data and connectivity, as it offers incremental improvements to existing 4G networks. Put simply, 4.9G supercharges conventional 4G LTE with use of carrier aggregation and large antenna arrays, meaning that 4.9G-enabled sites can deliver greater capacity and much faster performance on compatible devices. This offers a stepping-stone to full 5G services and gives providers a testing ground for full 5G applications and business models, without the huge upfront investments.

 

However, evolving an existing LTE network to 4.9G does present challenges that service providers need to overcome to maximize their capabilities. These challenges fall into in five areas:

 

Making networks gigabit-ready

4.9G should offer gigabit speeds, to help bridge the performance gap to 5G. To take full advantage of 4.9G technology, service providers should focus on optimizing spectrum usage and network capacity, with carrier aggregation and rolling out pre-5G FD-MIMO. They should also ensure that networks are optimized for 4.9G by working with network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) on an upgrade path that supports these areas and invest in platforms that offer software-defined capabilities to future-proof network upgrades.

 

Network virtualization

Migrating to a cloud-based, virtual evolved packet core (vEPC) platform is an initial step that allows more efficient deployment of network resources. Many service providers are doing this by implementing network functions virtualization (NFV), to enable a more flexible and adaptable 5G-ready platform. It’s also important to evolve the RAN to maximize 4.9G performance. By implementing LTE-A and LTE-A Pro, 4G LTE networks can evolve in terms of FD-MIMO and NB-IoT to offer more capacity, lower latency, more connections, and a more flexible architecture.

 

Both the RAN and the core will need to be extensively tested to determine how the infrastructure handles the massive amounts of data driven by 4.9G technologies, with minimal latency. This is especially important in networks supporting real-time traffic and mission-critical applications.

 

Gaining experience in new business models

5G will support a broad range of use cases, with the focus on enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low-latency communications, and massive M2M connectivity. Implementing 4.9G will take service providers a step closer to 5G, using current 4G technologies such as CAT-M1 and NB-IoT. These offer experience in operating the type of network that can support wide-area, low-bandwidth, low power consumption services.

 

This is an opportunity to build a customer base, explore potential use cases in vertical industries, and engage in large scale IoT initiatives such as smart grid/smart city prior to the release of 5G standards and technologies. 4.9G means providers can pilot business models and develop a 5G-like ecosystem ahead of the curve.

 

Efficient, flexible spectrum use

Given the huge costs of spectrum, a 4.9G strategy must be planned out, including 5G coexistence. Service providers’ spectrum holdings should be used now to gain experience with technologies such as MIMO, carrier aggregation, unlicensed shared spectrum using license-assisted access (LAA), and small cells. This gives more options for repurposing existing spectrum resources and helps to develop a long-term plan that supports coexistence of 4.9G and 5G.

 

Investing in future-proof infrastructure

4.9G shares many performance attributes with 5G and requires similar infrastructure hardware upgrades when considering sub-6 GHz frequency bands. Upgrade considerations include antenna modernization and cell densification, as well as deploying new cell sites. Underneath all of this is the requirement for a reliable, secure backhaul network, which means building out fiber networks. Given the costs of doing this, from securing leases and regulatory approval, through to construction and commissioning, an end-to-end test strategy to validate the performance of the network as a whole is essential.

 

Evolving to 4.9G by implementing LTE-Advanced Pro will help to meet customers’ data demands, as technology and standards advance towards 5G. The service providers who invest the time and resources in understanding the implementation challenges now, and in comprehensive testing of how their systems perform as they evolve, will be well positioned to lead the market.

 

Find out more by reading our new white paper on maximizing 4G LTE networks.

 

 

 

As discussed in recent blogs, 5G’s momentum is unstoppable, with trials by commercial operators due to be in place in several cities globally this year. But despite the technology’s rapid advances and the success of early deployments, there are still some major challenges that need to be overcome. One of the most significant of these is in delivering high-frequency 5G signals to users’ mobile devices reliably, in typical urban environments.

 

As you may have heard, 5G adds new spectrum both sub-6 GHz and at mmWave frequencies above 24 GHz. More spectrum is key to delivering the multi-gigabit speeds promised by 5G. The new sub-6GHz frequencies behave similarly to existing LTE spectrum, but the new mmWave frequencies are notorious for high propagation loss, directivity, and sensitivity to blockage.

 

mmWave frequencies don’t travel well through solid objects, such as buildings, car bodywork, or even our own bodies. In practice, this means that a user could potentially lose a 5G mmWave signal simply by holding or using their device in the ‘wrong’ way.

 

People problems

You may recall the ‘Antennagate’ issue that Apple faced back in 2010, in which its iPhone 4 would lose signal when it was held by the lower-left corner. This forced Apple to give away free bumper cases so that users’ hands wouldn't touch the edge of the phone, where the antenna was positioned. It’s a problem that can affect any handheld device because skin and bone is a very effective absorber of radio waves. However, the mobile industry can’t afford to have similar issues affect an entire generation of 5G phones and tablets.

 

To compound this issue, it’s also hard to predict what will happen to 5G mmWave signals when the receiver, the transmitter, or obstacles between them are moving relative to each other, such as in a busy city street. Earlier this year, Keysight and NTT DOCOMO cooperated on a channel sounding study at mmWave frequencies, investigating signal propagation at 67 GHz in urban areas with crowds of people.

 

The research found that the radar cross section of human bodies varies randomly over a range of roughly 20 dB – a significant variance. It also concluded that ‘the effects of shadowing and scattering of radio waves by human bodies on propagation channels cannot be ignored.’

 

Sounding out

Given this, it’s essential to conduct channel sounding tests in real-world environments rather than just in the lab, simply because the complexities and constant changes of real-world usage cannot easily be replicated. For example, indoor channels will behave differently to outdoor channels. Even factors such as the number of people in the room, or whether a window in a room is single-paned or double-paned will influence signal behavior.

 

Outdoor environments add a vast number of unpredictable complications. People, vehicles, foliage and even rain or snow will affect 5G mmWave signals, introducing free-space path losses, reflection and diffraction, Doppler shifts, and more.

 

Further variables include the base station’s antenna gain, pattern, and direction; the behavior of the channel itself; and the mobile device’s antenna gain, pattern, and direction. When the base station and user device’s antenna beams are connected, they need to maintain that connection as the device moves in space or changes orientation. The user device may also need to switch to another base station, repeating the beam-directing and forming cycle.

 

The result of all this is clear: exhaustive real-world testing of mmWave 5G base stations and user devices is critical to 5G’s commercial success. And at Keysight, we’re accelerating our testing capabilities to help the wider mobile ecosystem gain insights and advance their innovations. Find out more about our 5G testing methodologies and system solutions.

It has never been more important for businesses to consider the impact their operations have on the environment. For example, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from the industrial sector in 2016 – the most of any sector.

 

As a global business, we need to take a holistic approach to sustainability. We must not only consider carefully the direct environmental impact of the materials and processes we use; we must also manage our operations in the most energy-efficient and sustainable ways possible. We need to look outwards, considering how we use and replace natural resources, as well as inwards to minimize the emissions and waste we produce. Our own operations, and those of our suppliers and partners, are linked in a continuous chain of environmental responsibility.

 

During 2017, we worked to clarify what it means to build and maintain a better planet through our CSR programs, and developed a set of key environmental impact goals to achieve by the end of 2020. We aimed to recognize $2 million in cost avoidance, 10% energy conservation, and 15% water conservation compared to our fiscal year 2015 baseline.

 

Accelerating sustainability

To meet these goals, we have put in place multiple systems and initiatives across our business. A key example is the one megawatt, three-acre solar electricity system at our headquarters in Santa Rosa, which reduces our carbon footprint by using renewable energy. It not only provides 5% of our site’s electrical needs, but also powers more than 30 vehicle charging stations, so our employees can charge their electric vehicles while they are at work.

 

We are proud to run an ISO 14001:2015-certified Environmental Management System which continuously reduces adverse environmental impacts from our operations and drives ongoing improvements in our environmental performance. This compliance framework applies to the entire product development lifecycle, from initial design and development, throughout production and delivery, to refurbishment and support.

 

We also use the General Specification for the Environment (GSE) directive, which sets restrictions for any hazardous substances in the materials and components we use for our products. We have developed a remarketing solutions business to address this issue. This operation recovers and repurposes older instruments for resale, and helps us to reduce the number of products that end up in landfills. Further program options help customers safely dispose of or recycle used instrumentation.

 

These efforts are already bearing fruit

Since November 2014, we have recognized 4.69% and 12.44% respectively energy and water conservation. This has resulted in approximately $850,000 in cost avoidance. We also don’t believe in standing still: our excellent results in water conservation last year led us to increase our water conservation goal from the original 10% target to 15%. Crucially, these efforts have led to no material negative impacts on our profit and loss, or institutional investment levels.

 

It has always been important to us that our activities in running a successful, profitable and innovative business go hand-in-hand with sustainability. As we help people and organizations globally to solve problems by accelerating innovation, we’re ensuring that this has the minimum possible impact on the planet’s ecosystem. Find out more about our progress towards our 2020 environmental CSR goals by downloading our 2017 CSR Report.

The business maxim “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” is also a pretty good definition of the value of test when developing new products and technologies. That’s why for many companies, test and measurement equipment is often one of the biggest capital expenditures on their balance sheets.

However, this means that test departments are themselves increasingly subject to scrutiny and measurement. They’re being pressured to accelerate their processes and deliver results faster to speed up development cycles and meet market demand. At the same time, the business is squeezing test budgets to minimize capital and operating expenditure and maximize the return on existing test investments.

 

To meet these conflicting demands, test departments need in-depth visibility into what’s happening with the test equipment on their benches. It’s no longer sustainable for instrument utilization to be tracked and recorded manually by staff using paper or spreadsheet-based processes.

 

Who’s using my equipment?

Departments need to know where their critical assets are, who’s using them, and how often. Is costly equipment sitting idle under benches, or only used infrequently? It’s also critical to understand the health of instruments: do they need recalibrating, or are they operating in environments that could affect their accuracy or lead to premature failure?

 

Without these insights, test departments can’t measure and improve the efficiency of their own processes – and can’t make the best decisions when scoping out the resourcing and equipment needs for upcoming test projects. So, what’s needed to give departments the visibility they need and enable them to gain full control of all their test assets, to maximize their productivity and ROI? There are three fundamental processes involved:

 

1. Asset tracking and control

It’s essential to know what test equipment is available to teams, where it is located, and who is currently controlling its usage. This makes it easier to locate instruments when they are needed for a test, or for calibration or maintenance. The benefits of asset tracking include time savings during audit processes, an updated equipment inventory and fewer lost assets. Standard asset tracking tools can provide access to this data.

 

2. Assessing instrument utilization and health

As well as knowing an instrument’s location, it’s important to have specific details on how it is being utilized. Not just whether it’s switched on, but being able to access detailed real-time application logging to show precisely what it is being used for. This telemetry will show the health of the asset (such as operating voltage and temperature) which can indicate the early signs of a problem, or when maintenance is due – helping to avoid any potentially costly downtime from premature failure. It also helps to identify assets that are not in regular use, and those which may be surplus to requirements because they are no longer adding productive value to the test department. As a result, decisions can be made to trade-in or sell under-utilized equipment.

 

3. Optimizing asset use

When the location and utilization of assets is being managed effectively, a loan pool of instruments can be created to enable scheduled sharing across groups of users. This cuts costs by avoiding unnecessary new equipment purchases, and helps to maximize usage of existing assets.

 

Making the most of your test assets

When applied using an integrated approach, these management processes enable organizations to do and achieve more with their existing test assets, while saving on future CapEx and OpEx investments. And to help organizations put these processes in place, we recently introduced our Test Asset Optimization Services, the industry’s first integrated solution to address the complete asset management needs for all test equipment used in R&D and manufacturing.

 

With our integrated suite of services, organizations’ test departments can:

  1. See all their test assets from multiple equipment vendors, track them across multiple labs, locations, and users, and manage their compliance. This reduces the time spent on physical inventory counts and improves the productivity of engineering teams by giving fast access to the right assets.
  2. Know the physical condition and true utilization of test equipment through monitoring, to increase asset usage, decrease cost of test, and identify unhealthy instruments before a bigger problem occurs.
  3. Optimize use of existing equipment across the organization with a central loan pool. This assists with smarter procurement decisions such as the need to purchase or rent new instruments, and helps customers to realize the residual market value of older equipment through trade-ins or upgrades.


Integrated Test Asset Optimization Services ensure that teams always have access to the test equipment they need, at the right time. They also enable organizations to unlock powerful, actionable insights into asset usage and ROI that they’ve never previously had access to, helping to boost test efficiency and agility. Find out more about the services here.

It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but 5G is nearly here. After the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) published the first specifications in December 2017, 5G gained real momentum following its successful commercial debut at the Winter Olympics. The Games showcased a range of advanced applications delivered at scale, including driverless buses using 5G links to navigate, and live 4K video streaming of high-profile events.

 

This was followed closely by the giant Mobile World Congress 2018. During the event, leading mobile operators including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all announced timetables for commercial 5G rollouts in the U.S. over the next 18 months. The 3GPP is also expected to publish the final 5G standards in the next few weeks.

 

However, despite all this high-profile activity and media hype around applications such as autonomous cars and instant HD video streaming on mobiles, there’s still a long way to go before the technology becomes fully mainstream. Progress towards large-scale 5G deployments is going to take time. Innovative new products and services will need careful development and exhaustive testing to ensure they meet the required performance and reliability standards.

 

With this in mind, what will the initial 5G implementations look like over the next 18 to 24 months? And what can we anticipate from the technology in the longer term? Network Computing recently published our article describing what we can realistically expect to see between now and 2020, and here’s a recap of what’s coming into view:

 

Raising speed limits

Commercial 5G networks are due to be in place in several cities worldwide by the end of this year, with South Korea likely to be first and the U.S. and Europe close behind. But this won’t immediately herald a raft of new services and applications. Instead, consumers in these cities will experience faster performance on their mobile devices (regardless of whether they are 5G enabled) as carriers test the scalability of their networks and services.

 

As a result, existing high-bandwidth, low-latency services such as video streaming will be the most notable difference experienced by users. As we move into 2019, we’ll also see the launch of a range of 5G-enabled devices, which will be able to exploit emerging fixed wireless internet services. These will deliver even faster content delivery for both consumers and business users.

 

Catching the mmWave

3GPP’s imminent release of the next set of 5G standards will be focused on mmWave. We can expect rapid progress to be made in the next 12 months in high-density deployments of small cells and mmWave-ready devices, ready to take advantage of the higher bandwidth and low latency it offers. mmWave will also be the enabler for large-scale IoT deployments. This will accelerate the move towards smart cities, in which tens of millions of devices will connect and interact to streamline processes and inform decisions.

 

Diving into immersive experiences

Much has been made of the immersive VR and AR experiences that 5G will support, in areas ranging from leisure and sports to education, training, and even remote medicine. In most cases, we’re unlikely to see these become everyday applications until at least 2020. However, many leading carriers and manufacturers such as Korea Telecom, Verizon, Samsung and Qualcomm are conducting demonstrations at scale, so we can fully expect the promise of these experiences to be realized.

 

In conclusion, the rollout of 5G will not be a sprint, but a marathon. While the deployments we’ve seen to date show how the technology can be deployed at scale, there’s still a way to go before it can be extended to a national or international level. As the standards crystallize, 5G will evolve through extensive testing of networks and devices in real-world conditions, to ensure that it delivers the performance and reliability expected of it.

 

Find out about how Keysight is helping world-leading companies to accelerate their 5G innovations here.

It’s estimated that more of the global population own a mobile phone than a toothbrush. This simple statistic highlights the gulf between how advanced our technology has become, and the scale of the global problems that we still need to solve.

 

The challenges we face over the next 20 years are truly complex. For example:

  • Global energy consumption will increase by 28% by 2040. How do we create and manage the energy to support this demand?
  • Nearly a billion people worldwide don’t have enough to eat. How do we improve agricultural and food production to end hunger?
  • Nearly a billion people don’t have access to clean water. How do we improve sanitation and reduce disease?
  • How do we address the issues of global climate change?

 

Meeting these challenges requires new generations of problem solvers across a diverse range of sectors, who can invent solutions and apply them for everyone’s benefit. But where will those problem solvers come from?

 

According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, 2.4 million science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) jobs will go unfilled this year. 78% of high school graduates don't meet benchmark readiness for one or more college courses in mathematics, science, reading, or English. There is also a significant lack of women in STEM fields, and even greater underrepresentation of people from diverse ethnic groups.

 

In order to solve the problems facing our society and planet, the first challenge we need to overcome is closing the STEM skills gap. That means increasing students’ interest in STEM subjects, and building their skills in these areas.

 

Advancing education worldwide

This is why Keysight operates education programs worldwide, to demonstrate our values and commitment to corporate citizenship and helping to solve the most pressing global issues. By engaging directly with the communities where we operate, and encouraging employees to get involved in local, national and international projects, we are making strong progress towards our key impact goals in education and community action.

 

Our activities in these areas involve:

  • School education programs, including direct school support programs, education events and science fair volunteerism
  • University relations, including research grants and class engagement programs such as guest lecturing
  • Software and equipment donations and discounts to higher education establishments
  • Employee volunteering: Keysight policy allows four hours of paid time monthly for volunteering on educational or charitable work
  • Ongoing employee education and communication to conserve natural resources and reduce waste: Keysight has the goal of recognizing $2 million in cost avoidance, 10% energy conservation and 15% water conservation by the end of fiscal year 2020 (using our fiscal year 2015 as a baseline)

 

The Keysight After School education program is a great example of how we are encouraging young students’ interest and abilities in STEM subjects. It’s a hands-on science course for children aged 9 to 13, featuring over 20 different life, physical and earth-science experiments, designed as complete ‘programs-in-a-box.’ Students can build electronic-circuit games, balloon-powered cars and explore clean-water engineering, learning first-hand about how STEM drives innovation and creativity. These programs are delivered completely free of charge to the host organizations, which range from schools and community centers to museums, and even hospitals. Such engagements will truly impact the way the students think and spark creative problem-solving ideas in these young scientists and engineers – as a school district’s STEM coordinator remarked, “I know that this was an experience that they will remember for quite some time.”

 

And at the other end of the education journey, we are actively supporting next-generation research at some of the world’s leading universities, as the opening of a new research lab in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast showed. This state-of-the-art facility will enable pioneering research that will drive the future of communications.

 

Keysight’s CSR goals

Education and community support are two of Keysight’s four key impact goal areas, and our latest 2017 CSR Report highlights the strong progress we are making towards the targets we set for ourselves. By end fiscal year 2020, we plan to engage upwards of 570,000 students and future engineers through a mixture of education strategies: the Report shows that to date, we have engaged 275,000, so we are almost halfway to our goal. We also planned to commit over $1 billion in value to community strengthening efforts, and so far we have delivered $685 million in value.

 

Solving problems and raising next-gen problem solvers

Keysight creates and develops technology to help solve problems and drive innovation. We also recognize the need to develop the skills that enable people to utilize our technology to address global challenges. Our CSR community programs are helping to nurture that next generation of problem solvers who’d give back to the society and ultimately make the world a better place to live in.

Our world is already more interconnected than ever before, and that connectivity is still increasing. Innovations in networks, electronics and communications are transforming our global landscape, and how we interact, in unprecedented ways.

 

The speed of this transformation means that we need to shape our future responsibly. At Keysight, we take that responsibility seriously. Over the past year, we have continued to use our technology to help people and organizations globally to solve problems by accelerating innovation, and in turn to have a positive impact on society through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.

 

The importance of CSR to communities, individuals and corporations alike was brought home to us in October 2017, during the devastating wildfires in Santa Rosa, California where we are headquartered. Supported by our CEO, Ron Nersesian, executive staff, and existing CSR programs, we were able to quickly offer affected employees emotional support through our employee assistance program, enable and support site emergency responses, and provide direct funding to displaced employees and those who lost their homes in the fires, to help in their personal recovery. We set up a relief center to distribute donations of clothing, necessities and funds from our global employee community both to Keysight employees and their families, and to all in the local community that needed assistance.

 

Supporting our employees and the wider community through this life-changing experience shows the true value of CSR, and its central importance to the future of our business. In fact, it’s been a core part of the company’s DNA since Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP in 1939. Bill and Dave introduced and nurtured a strong culture, “The HP Way”, which included sponsored philanthropic, educational, community and sustainability programs. We are continuing that philosophy today as we execute our CSR programs.

 

Our CSR strategy

Our commitment to CSR has two core purposes. First, to help achieve our goals of growth in revenue, profit and total shareholder return. Second, we want to help build a better planet through innovations to connect and secure the world, and through operations that adhere to high ethical, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility standards.

 

In line with this latter objective, during 2017 we worked to clarify what it means to build a better planet through CSR, and developed four key impact goals to achieve by the end of 2020. These four goals involve our place in the community; the education of the next generation; our environmental impact; and the governance of business operations worldwide.

  1. For communities, we have pledged to commit more than $1.0 billion in value to strengthen them through a mixture of philanthropic giving, employee volunteerism, community sponsorships, donations and discounts, and university research and engagement.
  2. In terms of educating the next generation of engineers, we plan to engage upwards of 570,000 students and future engineers, through tools such as the Keysight After School education program and community education events, and our donated and discounted solutions at universities.
  3. In order to have a positive impact on the environment, we aim to recognize $2 million in cost avoidance, 10% energy conservation, and 15% water conservation per our fiscal year 2015 baseline. Our efforts focus on natural resource conservation and efficiency.
  4. Finally, on the governance side, it is vital that we ensure no material negative impacts to profit and loss or to institutional investment levels. For us, CSR must go hand in hand with running a profitable and innovative business, to ensure that our activities benefit our shareholders, customers, employees, community, and our planet.

 

Making strong progress

These are certainly ambitious targets – and our new 2017 CSR Report highlights the rapid progress we are making towards achieving them. We are delighted to say that we have already committed $685 million in value to community strengthening efforts – meaning that we are more than halfway to that $1.0 billion goal.

 

We have engaged upwards of 275,000 students through a mixture of education strategies, including Keysight employee volunteers engaging with primary and secondary schools through to universities. Once again, we are nearly halfway to that 570,000 goal.

 

In terms of the environment, we have recognized 4.69% and 12.44% respectively in energy and water conservation, which has resulted in $850,000 in cost avoidance. Crucially, all of this has been achieved with no material negative impacts. We have successfully aligned ethical operations and business commitments, through close governance of how we conduct business and our environmental, health, and safety programs.

 

The steps Keysight is taking in its CSR programs are building upon our strong foundation to grow and create value, while meeting our sustainability goals and reinforcing our commitment to global social responsibility. Find out more about our CSR progress by downloading our 2017 CSR Report.

How can our ever-growing numbers of digital devices communicate at even higher data rates, with lower latency and wider coverage than they do today? These are the questions that advanced wireless technologies such as 5G and new ultra-fast Wi-Fi standards are helping to answer, utilizing millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies.

 

But these technologies also present new challenges, placing stringent demands on designers and manufacturers across industries to characterize and test the performance of their mmWave components and devices, and ensure they perform as expected. At mmWave’s frequencies, there’s virtually no margin for error.

 

To help meet these challenges, Keysight is already leading the way in delivering end-to-end test solutions that enable the industry to bring their current innovations to market faster. And we’re also looking to the future, helping to develop the skills of the next generation of designers and engineers, to accelerate new research and technology breakthroughs.

That’s why we recently announced the opening of a new mmWave research laboratory in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast, at its Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT). The lab, based in the Institute’s Centre for Wireless Innovation, offers a truly state-of-the-art microwave and mmWave research environment that can accommodate over 60 researchers, students, and engineers.

 

We have equipped the lab with a range of our advanced test solutions, including the N5247A PNA-X Non-Linear Vector Network Analyzer, E8361C PNA Microwave Network Analyzer with N5260A mmWave controller and a N9040B UXA Signal Analyzer. These will enable researchers and students to investigate, analyze and measure the performance of mmWave prototype components and devices across a range of applications, from wireless communications to imaging, radar, and telemetry systems.

 

The Keysight equipment supports a wide range of test and measurement configurations, including ultra-high quality mmWave signal generation, and rich signal and network analysis capabilities. It can also be easily adapted to multiple different test scenarios, to enable full characterization and testing of both active and passive mmWave components.

Announcing the new lab, Professor Vincent Fusco, Chief Technical Officer of ECIT and leader of microwave research at the University for over 30 years, commented: "This partnership between Queen's University Belfast and Keysight gives us unprecedented measurement and instrumentation capabilities that will transform our microwave and mmWave laboratories, to advance our world-leading research in this area."

 

It’s a privilege for us to work with Queen's University Belfast – which is ranked in the top 1% of universities globally – in opening the new lab. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students will be able to use its world-class facilities to explore mmWave theory and techniques, helping to drive the future of wireless-enabled connectivity.

 

As part of our Millimeter-wave Measurement Insights HOTSPOTS Seminar series, Dr. Dmitry Zelenchuk, Senior Research Engineer at Queens University Belfast’s ECIT Institute will be joined by experts from Keysight in Belfast on May 24th. Dr Zelenchuk's presentation will focus on case studies of mmWave components and provide insights into mmWave measurements in recent academic research.

 

For more information about the Belfast event, and the HOTSPOTS Seminar series which is visiting 14 other cities across Europe over the coming months, click here.

It is always exciting when the advanced capabilities of your solutions are recognized with prominent industry accolades. So, we were understandably delighted to have recently won major awards for two of our testing products from influential industry organizations.

 

UE Emulation Solution: a 5G technology breakthrough

At the end of February, our UE Emulation (UEE) Solution received the ‘Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology Award’ for protocol testing of NB-IoT at the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) event in Barcelona. The award category highlights major technology enhancements in the entire mobile ecosystem from mobile operators and equipment manufacturers. The UEE solution delivers powerful and flexible test functions, including protocol and load testing for base stations across 5G NR and LTE, and enables emulation of a wide range of demanding usage requirements and configurations to improve network performance validation.

 

The advanced test capabilities of the UEE solution were further underlined at Mobile World Congress 2018, where Keysight announced successful interoperability testing of the solution with Samsung's new 5G base station based on 5G New Radio (NR) standards, to help accelerate the development and deployment of 5G networks. We also demonstrated 5G NR technology using the UEE solution together with Datang Mobile's 5G base station at MWC.

 

The best in field test: K400 load module is an industry first

In March, during the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) in San Diego, the K400 QSFP-DD-400GE load module was a winner in the 2018 Lightwave Innovation Reviews program, in the Field Test Equipment category.

 

The Innovation Reviews program recognizes cutting-edge solutions in optical communications, with winners selected by an independent panel of judges from across the industry. The awards are presented annually by Lightwave, the leading publication focused on fiber optics and optoelectronics. During their evaluation, the judges said that the K400 load module offers "An important capability for the ecosystem to develop, test, qualify and deploy new 400G datacenter pluggables.”

 

At the OFC conference, the K400 load module was also used as a core component of the first ever public demonstration of 400GE traffic over QSFP-DD optics. The demo saw live, full line rate 400GE traffic being sent to and from Juniper 400G transport technology using LR8 QSFP-DD optics provided by Finisar and Source Photonics. These new optics will be key to accelerating the development of new 400 Gigabit Ethernet network equipment and systems, and will power a range of next-generation services, including 5G.

 

We’re honored that our ability to create innovative test solutions — that enable next-generation communications to be brought to market faster — has been recognized with these prestigious awards. Find out more about our 5G test solutions here, and our 400GE test solutions here.

I just got back from the giant Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, and the main impression I took away was that the 5G future is arriving fast, with momentum building for the first rollouts of new services and devices later this year.  The delivery of these new solutions is happening much more rapidly than many in the industry predicted just one year ago, at MWC 2017. One of the main reasons for this is that the 3GPP industry group formalized the first set of standards for 5G in December 2017. This was key to enabling network equipment and component manufacturers to start building equipment, and for telcos to start conducting tests.

 

Another key contributing factor was the successful commercial debut of 5G at the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. The games featured a range of advanced applications, from driverless buses using 5G links to navigate, to live 4K video streaming of key events. The result is that MWC 2018 saw leading mobile network operators including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all announcing firm timetables for commercial 5G rollouts in the U.S. over the next 18 months. China Mobile and Japan’s NTT Docomo stated that they are targeting 2020 for their 5G launches.

 

Further innovations were announced by chip and device manufacturers: Huawei unveiled what it claims to be the first commercially available 5G chipsets, ready for use in a range of products and applications; and Intel has partnered with PC makers to develop 5G-enabled laptops for 2019.

 

Putting 5G to the test

And with 3GPP set to announce a second set of standards in the summer, the 5G wave is rising fast. Exciting times, but this acceleration towards pervasive 5G also means the industry is facing a range of complex challenges in order to realize the technology’s full potential, and make it truly successful. As the vast array of new services and products are being developed ready for market, they will need rigorous testing to ensure they meet both current and emerging industry standards, and deliver the performance expected of them.

 

That’s why MWC 2018 was a milestone event for Keysight, as we showcased several industry firsts, including the first 5G New Radio (NR)-ready device workflow solution, the world’s first 5G packet core high-scale network test solution, and advanced cloud and analytics capabilities to accelerate 5G NR testing of components and network equipment. It was also exciting to see our technologies showcased in leading 5G innovators’ booths. Qualcomm showcased 4 Gbps data rate with 5G @ 28 GHz frequencies using our network emulation solutions (NES).

 

We also announced a collaboration with Samsung Electronics to enable design and deployment of 5G devices to support early operator trials, and conducted interoperability demonstrations with Datang Mobile.

 

By offering complete end-to-end 5G test solutions, we’re giving the industry the flexibility and scope to deal with thousands of different configurations and test scenarios:  from enabling mobile operators to gain insights into and validate the capabilities of their entire ecosystems, to helping device and chipset manufacturers speed up their 5G product development cycles and gain a winning advantage in the market. 

 

Find out more about our comprehensive range of test solutions and capabilities for the entire 5G lifecycle here

5G, the fifth-generation wireless network, made its global commercial debut at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. This year’s Games were a huge showcase for the technology across a range of applications: driverless buses transporting attendees around Olympic sites using 5G links to navigate roads, while beaming live streams of event coverage to interior video screens. 5G-linked cameras were attached to bobsleds to deliver live footage from the pilots’ point of view, while videos of figure-skating events allowed viewers to stop the action and see 360-degree views of every twist and turn on the ice.

 

The technology even protected farmland adjacent to the Winter Olympics sites against native wild boars which threatened crops and the safety of tourists. Setup to replace an existing 4G-powered network that proved inadequate at tracking the boars’ movements and keeping them away from fields of cash crops, the 5G-connected system highlighted the huge range of applications and use cases that 5G supports.

 

The showcase was engineered by South Korean telecom carrier KT Corp. using technology from Intel, Ericsson AB and Samsung Electronics Co. The technology is being brought offline after the event to enable developers to analyze data from the deployment and identify any issues to improve the service. This, before South Korea’s wireless carriers start a full commercial roll out of 5G in 2019. But even so, the Olympic 5G showcase has been billed as a success, and a major milestone for 5G – enabling reliable, high-capacity, low latency networks, and giving gigabit-speed connectivity. 

 

Testing matters

Even though the Olympics has shown how 5G can be deployed at scale, there’s still some way to go before the technology can be rolled out at a national, or international level. These large-scale services will go beyond the provision of faster mobile broadband –  they include wireless connections replacing fixed connections, and improvements in other existing technologies. And these new services will require new network architectures that are not only capable of supporting much greater data volumes than ever before, but are also secure, flexible enough to support billions of devices, and adaptable to different applications.

 

To ensure that 5G can deliver on its promises, these emerging infrastructures will need rigorous testing. And building test architectures capable of doing that will be challenging, because the use cases are hugely diverse. Endpoints will appear and disappear rapidly, cell-site complexity will grow with network sharing, and even the bandwidth required for the visibility traffic itself will require new ways of thinking – all while supporting data volumes that are orders of magnitude greater than those of today.

 

To meet these challenges, Keysight is leading the way in delivering first-to-market, next-generation 5G test solutions that will help both operators and their equipment suppliers validate their configurations and underlying hardware and software, ensuring that they perform as expected, and that they’re on the right track to 5G success.

 

We recently published a detailed white paper that describes the 5G technology roadmap, the implications of 5G for test architectures, and how the major 5G use cases can be tested – which can be downloaded here. Keysight is also exhibiting at the giant Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, from 26 February to 1 March:  find out more about our presence at the show here.