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Spirent Communications plc
Company typePublic limited company
HeadquartersCrawley, West Sussex, United Kingdom (Corporate)
San Jose, California, United States (Operational)
Key people
  • Bill Thomas (chairman of​ the board)
  • Eric Updyke (CEO)
  • Paula Bell (CFO)
ProductsNetwork diagnostics
RevenueIncrease US$607.5 million (2022)[1]
Increase US$129.5 million (2022)[1]
Increase US$99.9 million (2022)[1]
Number of employees
1,500 (2024)[2]

Spirent Communications plc is a British multinational telecommunications testing company headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex, in the United Kingdom. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The company was founded by Jack Bowthorpe in 1936 as Goodliffe Electric Supplies. In 1949 it changed its name to Bowthorpe. It acquired Optima Electronics in 1987 and disposed of its defence businesses in 1990. The company's electronics business grew rapidly during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, with the 1995 purchase of Telecom Analysis Systems (located in Eatontown, New Jersey) and the 1997 purchase of businesses such as Adtech, a digital test equipment concern based in Hawaii[3] and the company was a member of the FTSE 100 index from time to time. It disposed of its automotive industry businesses in 1999, the same year that it bought Netcom Systems, a US telecoms testing business which makes network equipment testers,[4] and DLS, a Canadian telecoms testing business.[5] In 2000 it also bought Hekimian, a major Operations Support Systems business,[6] Zarak Systems, another communications software business[7] and Net-Hopper, an access systems specialist.[8]

In 2000 it changed its name to Spirent. The name is derived from the words "inspired innovation."[9]

It acquired Caw Networks, a Santa Clara company which makes network performance testing appliances including Avalanche, in 2002,[10] Scientific Software Engineering, a United States-based developer of software including Landslide for testing the performance and functionality of wireless network infrastructure, in 2006,[11] Imperfect Networks, an IDS/IPS testing company, in 2006,[12] and Fanfare Software, a United States-based developer of the iTest automation software, in 2011.[13]

It went on to buy Mu Dynamics, a Sunnyvale company which makes cloud and app testing products such as Blitz,[14] and Metrico Wireless, a company involved in mobile device performance analytics for wireless service providers, OEMs and corporate enterprises based in Frederick, Maryland, in 2012.[15]

In July 2014, Spirent acquired Radvision's Technology Business Unit from Avaya. Radvision a company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, offers development and test suites for voice and video over IP communications.[16]

In September 2014, Spirent announced that it acquired Mobilethink A/S and its wholly owned subsidiary, Tweakker ApS, a provider of mobile device management for mobile operators.[17]

In March 2016, Spirent announced that it had acquired Testing Technologies, a developer of test automation software for the automotive and IoT industries based in Berlin.[18]

In July 2017, both the Tel Aviv operations and Mobilethink were divested by way of a management buyout into a separate company, Softil.[19]

In March 2021, Spirent acquired octoScope, a company based in Littleton, Massachusetts that offers solutions for automated Wi-Fi and 5G testing in emulated real-world environments.[20]

In September 2023, Spirent acquired the Test Lab Automation business of Netscout Systems.[21]


Spirent Communications PLC is a communications and network testing company. Spirent mainly consists of the former Consultronics (later DLS Testworks) (of Ottawa, Ontario), Netcom Systems (of Chatsworth, California and later Calabasas, California), Adtech (of Honolulu, Hawaii), Zarak Systems (of Sunnyvale, California), Caw Networks (of San Jose, California), Hekimian (of Rockville, Maryland), Telecom Analysis Systems (of Eatontown, New Jersey) in 1995, Global Simulation Systems (of Paignton, Devon) in 1997, DLS (of Ottawa, Ontario) in 1998 and a number of other small network test equipment providers that it has acquired such as Imperfect Networks (of Burlington, Massachusetts).[22]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Results 2022" (PDF). Spirent. 8 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Factsheet" (PDF). Spirent. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  3. ^ UK Business Park Archived 26 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Bowthorpe ups test role with US buy Electronics Times, 21 June 1999
  5. ^ Bowthorpe buys DLS for $11.1m Electronics Times, 5 July 1999
  6. ^ Spirent buys Hekimian Company Business and Marketing, January 2001
  7. ^ Spirent Acquires Zarak Systems Light Reading, 11 September 2000
  8. ^ Spirent buy is optics boost – Net-Hopper Systems Electronics Times, 23 October 2000
  9. ^ "Our history". Spirent. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  10. ^ Caw Networks to be acquired by Spirent
  11. ^ Spirent Acquires 3G Player – Scientific Software 3G, 10 July 2006
  12. ^ Spirent Communications Plc announces acquisition of Imperfect Networks, Inc. MarketWire, 10 August 2006
  13. ^ Spirent gets into automation game by acquiring Fanfare Fierce Telecom, 15 February 2011
  14. ^ Apps and cloud testing specialist Mu Dynamics acquired by Spirent in $40M deal TNW, 20 April 2012
  15. ^ Spirent to buy Metrico Wireless for $52m Marketwatch, 6 September 2012
  16. ^ Spirent Agrees to Acquire Radvision's Technology Business Unit, The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, 2 July 2014
  17. ^ "Spirent swoops for Danish Group in $20m deal". 15 September 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Spirent Communications Acquires Testing Technologies IST | Mergr M&A Deal Summary". mergr.com. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  19. ^ "Management Buyout of Device Intelligence Leaders Mobilethink and Tweakker". Mobilethink. 1 July 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Acquisition of octoScope, Inc. – Company Announcement - FT.com". markets.ft.com. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  21. ^ MarketScreener (2 November 2023). "Spirent Communications plc acquired Test Lab Automation portion from NetScout Systems, Inc. for $8.3 million. -November 01, 2023 | MarketScreener". www.marketscreener.com. Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  22. ^ "Spirent Communications Partners With Imperfect Networks to Deliver a Comprehensive Platform for Network Application Security Testing for the Enterprise". Businesswire. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2018.

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