Where Telecommunications Began
Anritsu for Fiber Optics: Ushering in the Age of Optical Communications
A Driving Force in the Age of High-Speed Global Connection
Responding to the Rise of IP Networks
Leading the 3G Field in the New Age of Mobile Phones
Helping to Bring the World Mobile Phone Services
A Driving Force in the Rise of Mobile Broadband
IoT/5G: The Future of Communication
Providing Food Safety
Our Role in the Age of Mass Production of Food
Preventing Endangerment of Lives and Ensuring Quality of Life Worldwide
The History of Wireless Communication
Mobile phones are now ubiquitous, owned by almost everybody. Japan’s first mobile phones were analog car phones developed in 1979. 1985 brought the first portable phones, which were so heavy that they required a shoulder strap. Handheld mobile phones came on the scene in 1987 and gradually became smaller in the years that followed. PDC, the second-generation method of digital communication that was also known as 2G, was adopted in 1993, followed by a regulatory reform in 1994 which freed up sales of mobile devices. This marked the beginning of the world’s mobile phone culture. 2001 was a major turning point, with the number of mobile phone contracts in Japan overtaking the number of fixed-line telephones. 2001 also brought the third-generation of mobile phone services, called i-mode. Mobile phones evolved to include data-based communication in addition to traditional phone calls, paving the way for smartphones. Anritsu led the way throughout this transition, aiding in the advancement and development of mobile communication systems by providing essential measuring instruments for the R&D and manufacturing of mobile devices.
Measuring instrument series for wireless digital mobile devices: MT8801A/B
Anritsu began providing measuring instruments for 2G devices with the development of a measuring instrument for the R&D of PDC and personal handy-phones (PHS) in 1991. In 1993, we developed a PDC terminal test set composed of three instruments, comprising a digital modulation signal generator, digital mobile radio transmitter tester and signaling tester. This covered all of the necessary functions for testing mobile phones, earning the product great acclaim and a 70% share in the Japanese market. We refined our three instruments in 1995, developing a PDC measuring instrument (the MT8801A/B) that provided all three functions in one box. These products aided in the development and manufacturing of mobile phones as sales exploded after the regulatory reform.
In the late 1990s, R&D began in Japan for the W-CDMA, a third-generation (3G) mobile phone with faster data communication functions. The industry was in desperate need of measuring instruments with new technology such as advanced digital modulation technology and complex communication protocols.
In the late 1990s, R&D began for a mobile phone system that was capable of faster data transfers, and a market sprang up in Japan for measuring instruments to aid in its development. Proper discussions on a post-2G system also began in the US. Anritsu responded to these needs by setting up a Japan-US engineering team at the R&D facility in the US. We formed a trust relationship with major chipset vendors and worked on joint development projects.
1998 brought a revolutionary change in the mobile industry with the formation of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an organization for global standardization of the third generation of mobile phones. This was the beginning of a standard that would enable mobile phones to connect to any network in the world.
Anritsu was involved in the 3GPP from its inauguration ceremony held in the south of France. We helped to create the international standards for 3G mobile phone systems, chairing and then deputy chairing the measurement standard groups for the radio frequency and protocol (communication procedure). Through this work, we built a pipeline between telecommunication operators, device vendors and chipset vendors around the world and amassed cutting-edge technology.
Anritsu approached product development for this field with the aspiration of connecting the world via 3G, and in 1998 we developed the world’s first 3G-compatible signal generator, transmitter tester and signaling tester, making a name for Anritsu in 3G technology.
W-CDMA, CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA were adopted as the international standards for 3G mobile phone systems, and mutual compatibility was required not only between these networks but with the PDC and GSM networks used for 2G phones. To make matters even more difficult, these new networks were still under development, and it was unclear how much verification of the connections would be possible.
Anritsu solved this issue with a signaling tester that served as a base station simulator. We developed the Signaling Tester MD8480, the world’s first W-CDMA- and GSM-compatible signaling tester, in 2001. We then refined it to enable compatibility with CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA, making it possible for engineers to build a global mobile network from their desktops.
The next task at hand was to verify that the mobile phones that had been developed would comply with the 3GPP standard. Anritsu spearheaded this work too, releasing the world’s first conformance test system in 2002. Japan provided the first 3G mobile phone service, launching the service commercially in 2003 – with the help of advanced technology from Anritsu.
Anritsu’s signaling tester and conformance test system became the de facto standard, making Anritsu known worldwide. We followed this up with a succession of solutions covering all stages from development, manufacturing and maintenance of mobile phones to construction and maintenance of base stations. These products solidified Anritsu’s brand in the 3G field and were a driving force in the global spread of 3G mobile phone services.
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