Scottish firm fully engaged with shaping the future of mobile phone technology

The Herlad logo

A Scottish company is helping to influence the future direction of mobile phone technology. The only firm of its kind in the country, Linlithgow-based Calnex Solutions is working with China Mobile, the biggest mobile operator in the world with more than 900 million subscribers, to expand advanced 4G and 5G mobile services.

Herald Article

According to Calnex founder Tommy Cook, China is leading the way in shaping the future of mobile phone technology rather than companies in the western hemisphere. Twenty years ago it was the West at the forefront of this technology but recent years have seen a shift to the East.

“3G was wholly driven by Europe and the US but 5G is going to be driven by China,” says Cook. “Chinese technology is becoming very influential in the West but not in a negative way – it’s from the point of view that they are saying how they are going to build their network and that is going to drive the direction of the rest of the world.

China Mobile is the biggest operator in the world so, if they say this is what they are going to do, then the rest of industry will follow suit. Today, it is China Mobile that are most vocal at saying what they need for their 5G network and this is how they need it to be done. The large operators in the West are not being so vocal hence, by default, it is China Mobile that is setting the direction.”

China is now leading the world on several aspects of 5G roll-out and Calnex has aligned its product development roadmap to deliver the specific technologies required for the Chinese market and to maintain its lead position worldwide.

“Our role is helping them test new equipment to see if it delivers the performance they are looking for,” Cook explains.

China is now leading the world on several aspects of 5G roll-out and Calnex has aligned its product development roadmap to deliver the specific technologies required for the Chinese market and to maintain its lead position worldwide.

Since being founded in 2006, Calnex has grown to hold a strong position in the $4.3 billion telecoms testing market. With 81 employees – 61 in Linlithgow, eight in Belfast and 12 across Asia and North America – Calnex sells in all major regions of the world including SE Asia, India, USA and across Europe. The company’s first product was launched in 2007 and since then the company has grown year-on-year both in turnover and headcount. Clients include Google, BT, Vodafone, China Mobile, AT&T, Nokia, Ericsson, Cisco and Juniper.

The company’s products, which are engineered and manufactured in Scotland, are technically advanced, selling into a low-volume, high-value market. In other words, they are pricey, meaning that the company has had to build good relationships and trust with its customers.

Calnex also has to innovate continually as the products being sold today may well be out of date in two years. It is therefore important that the company has close working relationships with the leaders in the field to provide insight into what is going to be required.

“It’s critical for our business that we remain close to the global leaders so we have visibility of where they are going,” says Cook. “We need to understand what 5G means, who is doing it and what it is in practice. “China Mobile at the moment is defining what a 5G network means.”

As a result, Calnex has built a local team in China in order to support the firm’s business ambitions in the country.

The company has been exporting electronic test and measurement equipment and the associated analysis software packages to major players in the Chinese telecoms industry every year since 2009.

The test solutions are sophisticated pieces of equipment designed to either make precise timing measurements on high-speed data streams or introduce deliberate and precisely controlled fault conditions to a network to test application robustness.

The products support these test functions on a wide range of interfaces, including the latest high speed 100 Gigabit/second links being deployed in China for the expansion of advanced 4G and 5G mobile services.

The complexity of the product is such that the base electronic component cost runs to several thousand of pounds for each test system.

More recently the company has invested in its resources in Scotland to provide Mandarin language digital marketing support for China and, as a result, now has a Chinese website and a presence on WeChat and YouKu.

The senior management team also make regular visits to China to maintain the best possible communication channels to the top customers.

Given China’s dominance in the electronics manufacturing sector, to continually export an electronics-based product made in Scotland to multiple customers in China in the face of lower cost local competition is seen asahuge achievement – and, in recognition, Calnex Solutions was nominated for the Scottish Exporter to China award.

Crawford Colville, Calnex Solutions
+44(0)1506 671416

Recent News

Calnex Corporate…

Jan 20, 2020
216 More
828 More

Calnex Solutions…

Nov 25, 2019
1302 More
1872 More

Calnex receives…

May 09, 2019
2536 More

Archived News

400G Press Release

Apr 15, 2019
2481 More

Calnex Wins CEED…

Mar 04, 2019
7666 More

Cloud Provider…

Nov 26, 2018
5090 More

Calnex Shows off at…

Oct 16, 2018
4792 More

Calnex attends the…

Sep 26, 2018
3050 More

Cisco ASR 1000…

Aug 10, 2018
3215 More

Calnex Powers…

Aug 01, 2018
4339 More

Silicon Labs and…

May 15, 2018
3142 More

Calnex Solutions…

Mar 29, 2018
4774 More

Calnex Publishes…

Mar 28, 2018
3087 More

Calnex Presenting…

Mar 01, 2018
2888 More

Spirent launches…

Feb 28, 2018
2956 More

Calnex Plugs Into…

Feb 01, 2018
2930 More

Time Sensitive…

Oct 25, 2017
2809 More

Calnex attends…

Sep 26, 2017
2820 More

2017 ISPCS Plugfest…

Sep 11, 2017
2709 More

STAC (Securities…

Jun 27, 2017
3250 More

Calnex Solutions…

May 12, 2017
3130 More

ITU Approves Two…

Nov 14, 2016
2507 More

Calnex Launches…

Mar 18, 2016
2705 More

Calnex Joins AVnu…

Nov 16, 2015
2581 More

Calnex Solutions…

Jul 27, 2015
2601 More

Calnex Solutions…

Apr 21, 2015
2468 More

Industry’s First…

Apr 15, 2015
2627 More

Scottish Government…

Mar 03, 2015
2661 More

Calnex Solutions…

Nov 19, 2014
2511 More

Calnex announces…

Apr 16, 2013
2646 More


ITSF 2019

Nov 04, 2019
Global Conference on Timing and Synchronisation Across Networks. The International Timing…
1535 Read more

ECOC 2019

Sep 23, 2019
The ECOC (European Conference on Optical Communcation) exhibition is the largest optical…
1473 Read more


Sep 22, 2019
The objective of the symposium, to be held in Portland, Oregon, USA, is to provide a…
4023 Read more

CIOE 2019

Sep 04, 2019
CIOE (China International Optoelectronic Exposition) is the world's leading exhibition in…
1474 Read more


Mar 25, 2019
WSTS is a vendor-neutral technology workshop that addresses evolving sync requirements,…
4851 Read more


Mar 04, 2019
The European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) is internationally recognized as an…
4308 Read more


Feb 25, 2019
MWC Barcelona (formerly Mobile World Congress) is the largest mobile event in the world,…
3796 Read more

Click your area of interest below for more tutorials and real-world case studies.