octoScope announced that the company closed 2020 with 20 percent year-over-year revenue growth and a 20 percent increase in the number of key customers. To support this ongoing growth, the company doubled the size of its facilities in Massachusetts and California, and grew its overall team by 30 percent, primarily within its R&D operations, adding a few strategic hires and reinforcing its middle management. Strategic new hires include the addition of Janne Linkola as senior director of marketing, and a key software developer formerly responsible for the Wi-Fi Alliance automation framework.
The new Wi-Fi 6 technology introduced in 2020 with new requirements for sophisticated test scenarios has propelled octoScope’s growth. This growth will continue as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened new 6 GHz spectrum in April 2020 for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses. The new 6 GHz band increases the number of channels available to Wi-Fi by 233 percent. Known in the industry as Wi-Fi 6E, the 6 GHz capable Wi-Fi requires a new generation of Wi-Fi 6E test equipment.
To align with this technology evolution, over the course of 2020, octoScope introduced several new offerings and made significant updates to its existing testbeds:
• octoBox® testbed support for operation in the 6 GHz band. The octoBox wireless personal testbed has been verified to support the entire Wi-Fi 6E band up to 7.5 GHz.
• Tracker ™, a Wi-Fi test solution that enables recording of an environment such as a house for playback in the octoBox personal testbed.
• fieldPal™, a Wi-Fi test instrument that enables Wi-Fi testing and OFDMA wireless packet capture in the field.
• Expanded virtual station testing capacity in all of its testbeds. octoScope now supports 64 virtual stations, vSTAs, per radio in its Wi-Fi instrument, Pal-6. The total number of vSTAs per Pal-6 has doubled from 96 to 192 and later increased to 256 in thePal-6E. octoScope’s STACK-MAX testbed with four built-in Pal-6E instruments now supports 1024 virtual stations needed for testing enterprise APs, mesh systems and IoT scenarios.
• Support for Wi-Fi 6E in its Pal-6E™ instrument. To create Pal-6E, octoScope added a 6 GHz capable radio to its existing Pal-6 instrument. With the addition of this radio, the Pal-6E now supports all Wi-Fi standards, 802.11b/g/a/n/ac/ax.
While the COVID-19 pandemic upended in-person seminars, octoScope initiated its Wi-Fi 6 Test Tutorial series in 2020. Topics included:
• A two part series on Wi-Fi mesh (part 1 and part 2)
• IETF RFC 2544 and IEEE 802.11.2 for Wi-Fi testing
• Testbed testing vs test house testing
• Deep dive into the fundamentals of antenna physics
• The Broadband Forum TR-398 standard for testing Wi-Fi performance
• Fundamentals of RF link budget
• Using a multi-probe sniffer for OFDMA, roaming and other system tests
• OFDMA deep dive
• Wi-Fi 6 testing using a turntable
• Introduction to Line of Sight (LOS) / Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) channel emulation
Due to the interest in and success of this new series, the company will continue these tutorials in 2021, beginning with its 12th segment, Target Wake Time on Wednesday, February 10th. This tutorial will discuss TWT and how it enables devices to determine when and how frequently they wake up to send or receive data.
“2020 saw strong growth in Wi-Fi and other advanced wireless technologies,” said Fanny Mlinarsky, president of octoScope. “This growth will continue into 2021 and beyond. Wi-Fi mesh is being deployed into a rapidly growing number of home and enterprise networks, which will drive new testing requirements that will be significant for octoScope.”