Anritsu this week introduced a handheld spectrum analyzer capable of measuring 802.11a, ultrawideband and WiMAX signals in a range from 100 kHz to 7.1 GHz.

The MS2721A measures 7 pounds, making it suitable for field applications, and offers one-button operation to measure field strength, channel power, occupied bandwidth, adjacent channel power ratio, and carrier-to-interference ratio. “The one-button operation makes it easier for lower-tech people to use,” said Steve Thomas, product-marketing engineer.

Another key improvement over earlier models is the daytime-viewable color display, according to Thomas. “It’s the first product in its class with such a display,” he said. “Plus, it has the largest display of any portable unit.”

The unit also provides multiple language capability—English, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Italian—and Anritsu plans to add more languages later, Thomas said. It operates on 4-hour Lithium ION battery but can be connected to a 12-volt charger for longer deployments. “It also comes with a cigarette-lighter charger,” Thomas said.

While RF operators are the primary target audience, Anritsu also is looking toward enterprise customers that operate Wi-Fi networks, law-enforcement agencies that need to set up remote communications networks at incident locations, and warehouse operations. “There are a lot of shadow areas in warehouses,” Thomas said. “Shelves block signals. This unit will allow a user to find the dead spots, after which they can put in extra access points or reposition the antenna.”

Thomas added that handhelds like the MS2721A are ideal for chasing interferers. “It’s very sensitive and selective,” Thomas said. “In Reno (Nev.), a power transformer allegedly was interfering with a customer’s access point,” Thomas said. “The power company walked through the neighborhood with one of our units and discovered it wasn’t them but the guy next door. The accusation was total nonsense.”