Combination that firmly establishes Spirent as the Wi-Fi test leader
London, UK – 5 March 2021 –plc (LSE:SPT), the leading provider of test, assurance, and analytics solutions for next-generation devices and networks, today announces that it has acquired octoScope, Inc (octoScope) from the founder Fanny Mlinarsky, management and other investors, for an initial cash consideration of $55 million on a debt and cash free basis, with an additional consideration capped at $18 million based on annual revenue growth targets for 2021 and 2022 and retention of key staff. The acquisition will be funded from existing cash resources.
Founded in 2006, octoScope is a US-based technology company that provides market-leading accurate, repeatable and automated wireless test solutions and methodologies to the wireless industry. Its test solutions leverage patented technology to provide automated Wi-Fi and 5G testing in emulated real-world environments, including the latest Wi-Fi 6 and 6E technologies. octoScope’s products are used by a blue-chip roster of leading global communication service providers, chipset, device, network infrastructure and Wi-Fi equipment vendors including: Google, Facebook, Verizon, Qualcomm, Nokia, Amazon, Philips and Sony.
This complementary acquisition is in line with Spirent’s targeted investment and M&A plans outlined at its Capital Markets Day in October 2020, securing a broader assurance opportunity and expanding our diversified customer base. octoScope will be incorporated into our Lifecycle Service Assurance operating segment along with our emerging Wi-Fi revenue stream currently residing in our high-speed Ethernet business within the Networks & Security operating segment.
The gross assets of octoScope at 31 December 2019 were $11.6 million. Revenue in the year to 31 December 2019 was $17.4 million and profit before tax was $4.5 million. Revenue grew to around $20 million for 2020, subject to audit. The business has a history of delivering robust growth and we expect that to continue.
Wi-Fi sits alongside 5G as a critical next-generation wireless access technology. With the explosive growth in the Internet of Things, the emergence of new mission-critical use cases in sectors such as healthcare and industry, and expansion of applications including fixed wireless access and Wi-Fi offload, the importance of reliable and secure Wi-Fi is greater than ever. Wi-Fi applications continue to grow on the back of a robust technology roadmap (Wi-Fi 6/6E/7), the rise in remote working and expansion into new frequency bands around the world.
Spirent already has a strong position in the Wi-Fi and 5G test markets and the combination of octoScope with our existing portfolio firmly establishes Spirent as the Wi-Fi test leader. It also provides opportunities to extend the capabilities of our 5G solutions and offer new and differentiated services to our customers through our global channels.
Commenting on the acquisition, Eric Updyke, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Having firmly outlined our M&A intentions at our Capital Markets Day in October, I am delighted to welcome octoScope to the Spirent family. The need for reliable and secure Wi-Fi is greater than ever and our teams look forward to working together to address an increasing range of complex Wi-Fi challenges for our customers.”
“This acquisition supports our strategy of sustainable, profitable growth by establishing Spirent as the firm market leader in the expanding Wi-Fi space, adding to our 5G solution portfolio. octoScope brings to us an impressive and well-known customer base, providing us with the opportunity to further leverage our established global routes to market and trusted relationships with our key accounts.
Compliance to local regulations, such as FDA 510k certification and IEEE/ANSI Wi-Fi C63.27 standard in the US, require medical device manufacturers to ensure the functionality and safety of their devices through rigorous testing. In addition, healthcare facilities must test their Wi-Fi network regularly to:
A, coauthored by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was issued on Oct 28, 2020, and shared the following findings:
Similar concerns were echoed by the INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock in early 2020:
“As hospitals and medical organizations around the world are working non-stop to preserve the well-being of individuals stricken with coronavirus, they have become targets for ruthless cybercriminals looking to make a profit at the expense of sick patients.”
Unfortunately, there has been an increased number of cases, which resulted in various forms of services interruptions at hospitals and clinics, even to an extent that critically ill patients had to be re-routed to other facilities, globally. With this backdrop, it is more vital than ever that healthcare providers assess their network’s vulnerability, perform network penetration testing, including compliance testing of Wi-Fi security protocols (e.g. WPA3, WPA2) and web authentication like secured use of Captive Portals.
As Wi-Fi coverage becomes mission critical for patient care and workflows, it is important to ensure healthcare provider Wi-Fi networks are up to the tasks. Yet improving and optimizing Wi-Fi network and device performance for unique healthcare provider deployment scenarios can be complex.
Learn about the latest test solutions for Wi-Fi turn up services and solutions, including emulating hospital environments in a lab.
A recently published Spirent eBook on thediscussed the effect of underlying factors such as the economy, business, government and consumer-behavior on Wi-Fi deployments and testing. While certain Wi-Fi market segments such as large public venues (LPV) and hospitality are still struggling to recover, the healthcare industry is facing altogether different challenges.
According to a recent report from, “Telehealth market in the US is estimated to display a staggering seven-fold growth by 2025, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.2%. In 2020, the telehealth market is likely to experience a tsunami of growth, resulting in a year-over-year increase of 64.3%.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) definesas the “delivery of health care services, where patients and providers are separated by distance. Telehealth uses ICT for the exchange of information for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health professionals.”
“Wi-Fi 6 helps solve the different challenges the healthcare industry is facing.”
Wi-Fi has been the preferred wireless technology of choice for decades in hospitals and clinics, globally. This is primarily because Wi-Fi offers technical advantages in indoor environments, and often, it’s the most cost-effective option for healthcare providers. As a result, an increasing number of medical devices enabled with Wi-Fi technology are entering the healthcare industry each year, ranging from simple applications to mission critical real-time applications (e.g. ubiquitous access to patient medical records).
With stringent regulatory requirements such as FDA 510k certification for product introduction in the U.S., patient safety and privacy concerns (e.g. HIPAA in the U.S., GDPR in Europe), and the need to provide patient care around the clock (24/7/365), it is understandable that new technology adoption takes longer for the healthcare industry. However, the various new features and promises offered by Wi-Fi 6, are providing a great motivation for healthcare providers to think seriously about upgrading their devices and networks.
Wi-Fi 6 offers several benefits over legacy standards such as Wi-Fi 5/4. Key features include Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) for Downlink and Uplink (DL/UL), Multi-user Multiple Input and Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) for DL/UL, Target Wake Time (TWT) among others.
Coupled with the latest security standard by the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) for Enterprise, Wi-Fi 6 enables healthcare providers to benefit from a reliable, efficient, and secured Wi-Fi connection for patient care and clinical workflows.
In addition, Wi-Fi 6 is backward compatible, enabling legacy clients to co-exist with the latest Wi-Fi 6 devices. This is particularly important in healthcare facilities, where thousands of devices from various Wi-Fi generations are served by the same network at any given time.
In the, we will take a closer look at Wi-Fi device and network testing considerations for healthcare providers.