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Rohde & Schwarz

Founded 17. November 1933
Founder Dr. Lothar Rohde & Dr. Hermann Schwarz
Headquarters Munich, Germany
Key people
Manfred Fleischmann, President & CEO, Christian Leicher, President & COO, Peter Riedel, President & COO
Products Cellular, Wireless Connectivity, Navigation, Broadcast TV and Radio
Revenue 1.75 Billion (FY 2013/14)
Number of employees
9,800 (FY 2013/14)

Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co KG (/ˈrdə ənd ˈʃwɔrts/; Template:IPA-de) is an international electronics group specialized in the fields of electronic test equipment, broadcasting, radiomonitoring and radiolocation, and radiocommunication. The company provides products for the wireless communications, broadcasting and electronics industry, aerospace and defense, homeland security and critical infrastructures.

The group has been developing, producing and marketing electronic products for the capital goods sector since 1933. In addition to the Munich headquarters, there are regional headquarters in the US (Columbia, Maryland) and in Asia (Singapore). Almost 5500 of the company's employees work in Germany, including the around 2000 employees at the Munich headquarters.

Worldwide, the company has a total of around 9800 employees in over 70 countries. Rohde & Schwarz is family-owned and self-financing. Exports account for approx. 90 percent of revenues. The company invests around 16 percent of its annual net revenue in research and development.

Central R&D is located at company headquarters in Munich, Germany. Most products are manufactured in the Rohde & Schwarz plants in Memmingen, Teisnach and Vimperk (Czech Republic). In 2005, Rohde & Schwarz acquired Hameg Instruments GmbH, a German T&M equipment manufacturer.

Outside Germany, Rohde & Schwarz has development centers in the US, Singapore, Korea, China, Denmark, France and Great Britain. The company has also production facilities in Singapore and Malaysia, which have been up and running since the beginning of 2011 and July 2011, respectively.


The company was founded by Lothar Rohde and Hermann Schwarz who met while studying physics in Jena. They built their first T&M instrument in 1932, and in August 1933, the Physikalisch-Technisches Entwicklungslabor Dr. Rohde & Dr. Schwarz (known as PTE) started up business.


  • 1932: The engineers Dr. Lothar Rohde and Dr. Hermann Schwarz develop the first measuring instrument for the Hermsdorf-Schomburg-Isolatoren-Gesellschaft (Hescho).
  • 1933: In summer 1933, the company is founded in an apartment at Thierschstrasse 36 in Munich to set up an electrotechnical lab. On November 17, the "Physikalisch-Technisches Entwicklungslabor Dr. L. Rohde und Dr. H. Schwarz" (PTE) is registered at the Registration Court in Munich.
  • 1934: The first export order: A British manufacturer of insulating materials orders a dissipation factor meter (50 MHz to 200 MHz) to measure dielectric losses on ceramic disks up to 100 MHz.
  • 1937: Company relocation to a former bread factory on Tassiloplatz, not far from Munich’s Ostbahnhof railway station. Rohde & Schwarz has 35 employees and 24 different products in its portfolio.
  • 1938: Development of the world's first portable crystal clock (weighing 36 kg).
  • 1941: Setup of an independent production site in Bavaria's Allgäu region. Messgerätebau GmbH (today Rohde & Schwarz Messgerätebau GmbH) is founded. Production in the new manufacturing facility begins in Kempten in 1943 and moves to Memmingen in 1944.
  • 1942: The first large order of radiomonitoring receivers marks the transition to factory-scale production.
  • 1945: Rohde & Schwarz receives a large order from the US Army to check, calibrate and repair all radio equipment at the central United States Air Force depot in Erding.
  • 1945: Physikalisch-Technisches Entwicklungslabor Dr. L. Rohde & Dr. H. Schwarz (PTE) is renamed Rohde & Schwarz.
  • 1949: On January 18, 1949, Rohde & Schwarz receives an order from Radio Munich, the predecessor to the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, to build and trial a frequency-modulated VHF test transmitter.
  • 1950: Rohde & Schwarz develops the Zg diagraph, the first complex network analyzer for vector network analysis.
  • 1955: Development of the NAP1, the first automatic direction finder. It is used in air traffic control to supplement radar.
  • 1956: Today's company headquarters is established on Mühldorfstrasse.
  • 1959: Presentation of the NP4, the first direction finder to use the Doppler effect.
  • 1964: First air traffic noise monitoring system in Germany for Frankfurt Airport.
  • 1967: Europe's first automatic test system for integrated circuits (IC).
  • 1969: New production site established in Teisnach.
  • 1970: Shift in sales strategy to focus on export. The company now develops products based on its own specifications and offers them to customers worldwide.
  • 1974: First microprocessor-controlled radio tester (SMPU).
  • 1982: The ALIS GP 853 communications processor automates the process of setting up radio links. In 1994, Rohde & Schwarz puts the then-largest civilian HF communications network into operation in Mexico.
  • 1988: Introduction of computer-controlled manufacturing in Memmingen and focus on just-in-time production and an automatic material flow system.
  • 1995: The world's largest DAB broadcasting network. As a member of the EUREKA 147 DAB project, Rohde & Schwarz developed a field-strength test receiver specially modified for Digital Audio Broadcasting, and a DAB transmitter.
  • 1998: First nationwide DVB-T project. Castle Transmission International (CTI) of the United Kingdom orders DVB-T transmitter systems with output power between 500 W and 5 kW.
  • 1998: For the voice and data communications needs of the first TETRA project in Germany, the German armed forces use the ACCESSNET®-T system, comprising 42 TETRA RF carriers at seven locations and terminals for 2500 users.
  • 1999: R&S®M3xR family – first software defined radios
  • 2001: New production site in Vimperk. Rohde & Schwarz acquires a production facility in Vimperk (Czech Republic) from Tesla Prag a.s. The plant, which today offers 42,000 square meters of floor space, has been carrying out production for Rohde & Schwarz since 1991. All 200 employees are taken over.
  • 2001: Rohde & Schwarz SIT GmbH presents the TopSec GSM, a tap-proof mobile phone.
  • 2002: Encryption for military and government authorities. The ELCRODAT 6-2, developed by Rohde & Schwarz SIT GmbH, is a crypto system approved by the German Federal Office for Information Security for use at the "top secret" and "cosmic top secret" security levels.
  • 2005: Rohde & Schwarz takes over Hameg, a German company that develops and manufactures measuring instruments.
  • 2007: The R&S®Nx8600 liquid-cooled high-power transmitters are the most energy-efficient transmitters available to date.
  • 2007: The R&S®FSU67 is the world's first spectrum analyzer with a continuous frequency range up to 67 GHz.
  • 2007: Rohde & Schwarz takes over Arpège SAS. The company is headquartered in Aubagne, France, near Marseilles.
  • 2008: The new R&S®ESMD wideband monitoring receiver combines all radiomonitoring functions in a single unit: reception, direction finding, measurement and demodulation.
  • 2008: The R&S®PR100 is the first portable receiver for tracing weak or briefly transmitted signals in the frequency range from 9 kHz to 7.5 GHz.
  • 2010: In December 2010, Rohde & Schwarz takes over Hanover-based DVS Digital Video Systems AG.
  • 2010: Rohde & Schwarz acquires a majority interest in the Romanian company Topex, a manufacturer of telecommunications equipment for government authorities and companies.
  • 2011: On May 11, 2011, Rohde & Schwarz acquires ipoque GmbH, based in Leipzig.
  • 2012: Rohde & Schwarz integrates SwissQual, a leading provider of systems for measuring and assessing the quality of service (QoS) in wireless networks.

Plants and subsidiaries


Rohde & Schwarz has five plants in Europe and Asia. The European plants in Memmingen, Teisnach and Vimperk offer production services also for external customers.

  • Rohde & Schwarz Messgerätebau GmbH in Memmingen

As the center of competency for complex equipment, Rohde & Schwarz Messgerätebau GmbH is responsible for electronic module assembly, microelectronics, microwave engineering, final production and manufacture of test systems.

  • Rohde & Schwarz Teisnach plant

Rohde & Schwarz Teisnach is the center for mechanical and electronic production. It produces housings, shielding parts, antennas, printed boards, micromechanical precision parts, electromechanical custom-made products of all types and much more. As the center of competency for transmitters and systems, the Teisnach plant manufactures and delivers all TV and sound broadcasting transmitters as well as customized radiocommunications systems.

  • Vimperk plant

As the competency center for standard equipment, the Czech plant manufactures products of low to medium complexity including cable production and assembly as well as all Hameg instruments.

  • Singapore and Malaysia plants

Since 2011, Rohde & Schwarz has been operating small-scale plants in Singapore and in neighboring Malaysia for final assembly and shipping of individual equipment families.


  • Rohde & Schwarz Vertriebs-GmbH (RSV)

RSV, headquartered in Munich, is responsible for the sales of Rohde & Schwarz products and complementary OEM brands within Germany. RSV maintains a nationwide sales network in Germany.

  • R&S Systems GmbH

R&S Systems GmbH provides system services within the Rohde & Schwarz business fields – from system development and integration to delivery, assembly and commissioning of turnkey T&M and communications equipment worldwide. This includes infotainment test systems for automobile production, mobile ATC systems as well as complete electronics workshops for technical service.

  • Rohde & Schwarz International Operations GmbH (RSIO)

Rohde & Schwarz International Operations supports the Asia/Pacific and Middle East/Africa sales organization (= Rohde & Schwarz Regional Headquarters Singapore Pte. Ltd.).

  • Rohde & Schwarz SIT GmbH

Rohde & Schwarz SIT GmbH provides solutions for information and communications security that have been approved by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and NATO/SECAN. The key activities of the company are the development of crypto products and systems as well as consulting and IT security analyses for government authorities, armed forces and industry.

Hameg, a German T&M equipment manufacturer with a rich tradition, supplements the Rohde & Schwarz portfolio in the lower price segment by offering reliable T&M instruments for science, industry and education. Hameg is an independent company responsible for product development, product management, service and sales. All Hameg products are manufactured at the Rohde & Schwarz core plants.

  • GEDIS GmbH

GEDIS develops and implements customized solutions for testing electronic instruments, modules, and submodules, and for the management of test and communications systems. The company addresses government authorities, large system houses, the automobile industry and their suppliers.

  • DVS Digital Video Systems GmbH

DVS Digital Video Systems produces workstations, video servers and storage solutions for the post production of digital film and TV productions.

  • ipoque GmbH

ipoque develops network management systems. The products range from bandwidth management and network transparency to network monitoring and deep packet inspection.

  • SwissQual AG

SwissQual develops and sells systems for measuring and assessing voice, data and video quality in wireless networks. SwissQual was founded in 2000 and is based in Zuchwil, Switzerland.

  • Arpège SAS

The French Arpège SAS develops and implements customer-specific systems in the areas of satellite monitoring and lawful interception for government security agencies.

  • S.C. Rohde & Schwarz Topex S.A.

For more than 20 years, S.C. Rohde & Schwarz Topex has been developing and implementing telecommunications equipment for military and civil markets. Rohde & Schwarz Topex develops voice communications systems for air traffic control, solutions for next generation networks (NGNs), including softswitches, media gateways for TDM, VoIP, GSM and CDMA (2G, 3G), signaling gateways (SS7, ISDN, R2, SIP and H323), broadband Wi-Fi mobile routers and fixed-mobile terminals (2G, 3G).

Product areas

T&M equipment for wireless communications, general-purpose electronics and microwave

Rohde & Schwarz provides T&M solutions for all mobile radio and wireless technologies, from LTE, UMTS/HSPA(+), GSM and CDMA2000® to Bluetooth®, GPS and wireless internet access via WLAN and WiMAXTM.

The company offers the products that are needed in the development and manufacturing of chipsets, mobile devices and base stations. Network operators rely on Rohde & Schwarz products in the planning, setup and monitoring of their networks. Rohde & Schwarz develops signal generators and analyzers for the specific requirements of LTE-Advanced.

For the aerospace and defense industry, Rohde & Schwarz develops Electronic test equipment for microwave links as well as for radar and satellite communications systems. In addition, the company provides complete systems for EMC and field strength testing, for example to detect electromagnetic disturbance in automotive electronics.

In 2010, Rohde & Schwarz entered a new market segment by launching the world's first oscilloscope with a digital trigger.[1]

Broadcasting and studio technology

The company has been active in the field of TV and sound broadcasting for over 60 years. Today, Rohde & Schwarz transmitters and T&M equipment are in use for analog and digital television in more than 80 countries. Rohde & Schwarz supports the world's most common digital broadcasting standards. The company offers equipment for ATSC Mobile DTV in North America, ISDB-T in Asia and Latin America and DVB-T2 in Europe.

In the field of mobile TV, Rohde & Schwarz combines its expertise in broadcasting and wireless communications. The company sells T&M equipment for the installation, maintenance and monitoring of broadcasting networks. It also supplies consumer electronics manufacturers with the T&M equipment they need for the development and production of satellite receivers and TV sets, including for HD and 3D formats.

At the end of 2010, Rohde & Schwarz acquired DVS Digital Video Systems GmbH. DVS offers hardware and software for professional film and video post production.

Secure communications for armed forces, government authorities and industry

Rohde & Schwarz supplies interoperable radiocommunications systems for military, government and civil applications. It is currently working on the development of software defined radio (SDR). At the end of 2008 the German armed forces commissioned the company to develop an SDR base unit for their future joint radio system (SVFuA).

More than 200 airports around the world deploy Rohde & Schwarz radiocommunications systems. In 2011, the company added voice communications systems for air traffic control (ATC) to its product offering. These systems are based on a product from Topex SA, a company in which Rohde & Schwarz acquired a majority interest in 2010.[2]

Rohde & Schwarz SIT GmbH develops crypto products and systems for government agencies, the German armed forces, authorities, the military and private industry. The subsidiary's high-security encryption technology is used for both wireless and wireline communications. As early as 2001, Rohde & Schwarz SIT set standards in secure mobile communications by launching the world's first crypto phone TopSec GSM.[3]

Frequency management and radiolocation for internal and external security

Rohde & Schwarz develops stationary and mobile systems for detecting, locating and analyzing radiocommunications signals.[4] Rohde & Schwarz provides authorities and services with solutions for identifying and locating suspicious communications activities. The company offers a full range of products, from receivers, direction finders, signal analyzers and antennas to customized systems.

Satellite monitoring also plays an important role at Rohde & Schwarz. Solutions include both stationary and mobile systems for use on the ground, at sea and in the air. They enable government agencies worldwide to gain insight into satellite-based voice and data communications. In this field, Rohde & Schwarz is supported by its French subsidiary Arpège SAS.

In 2011, Rohde & Schwarz entered a new market segment by acquiring ipoque GmbH, a specialist in Internet traffic management and network monitoring. ipoque develops software solutions used to detect and monitor network applications.

Service, support and system integration

The Rohde & Schwarz service and sales network provides 24-hour support. In addition to calibration, maintenance, product upgrades and on-site services, the company also offers its customers training courses. R&S Systems GmbH develops and integrates turnkey systems within the Rohde & Schwarz business fields and puts them into operation at customer premises. The system portfolio includes infotainment test systems for automobile production, mobile ATC systems as well as complete electronics workshops for technical service. R&S Systems also offers customized solutions in addition to standard products.

Gedis GmbH is another Rohde & Schwarz system house. This subsidiary specializes in automatic test equipment (ATE) for testing electronic assemblies and modules. Its product portfolio ranges from compact manual test systems to turnkey, automatic in-line systems.


Product timeline

  • 1932: Dissipation factor meter
  • 1933: WIP interference wavemeter
  • 1938: CFQ, the first portable crystal clock
  • 1938: HHF distant-zone field-strength meter
  • 1938: HHN near-zone field-strength meter
  • 1949: Europe's first VHF transmitter for the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation
  • 1949: ESM180, ESM300 and ESG monitoring receivers
  • 1950: Zg diagraph, vector network analyzer
  • 1952: URI universal voltmeter
  • 1955: NAP1, first direction finding system for use in air traffic control
  • 1955: AMF Nyquist test demodulator
  • 1957: EK07 shortwave receiver
  • 1960: ESUM VHF/UHF monitoring receiver
  • 1960: PA001 radio direction finder for monitoring marine traffic
  • 1968: XT3000 VHF/UHF transceiver
  • 1968: XK401 SSB radio
  • 1970: SK1 HF transmitter
  • 1980: ESM500 monitoring receiver
  • 1981: PA2000 search receiver and direction finder
  • 1982: SWP synthesized sweeper
  • 1982: SMPC frequency synthesizer
  • 1984: URV5 directional power sensor with digital data memory in the sensor
  • 1984: UAF video analyzer
  • 1985: EB100 portable receiver
  • 1985: UPA audio analyzer
  • 1986: First spectrum analyzer with FSA color display
  • 1991: GSM system simulator
  • 1999: M3xR family of software defined radios
  • 1999: EB200 portable monitoring receiver
  • 2001: TopSec GSM crypto mobile phone
  • 2002: ELCRODAT 6-2 ISDN crypto mobile phone
  • 2007: FSU67 spectrum analyzer
  • 2007: Nx8600 high-power TV transmitter
  • 2008: CMW500 universal mobile radio and wireless tester
  • 2008: TopSec Mobile for encryption of mobile phone conversations
  • 2008: Spectrum analyzer with FSW touchscreen
  • 2010: RTO oscilloscope family with the first digital trigger system
  • 2011: THU9 high-power TV transmitter
  • 2011: FSW high-end signal and spectrum analyzer
  • 2012: TMU9 medium-power TV transmitter with Doherty technology
  • 2012: AVHE100 audio/video headend system
  • 2012: ESR, the world's fastest EMI test receiver
  • 2012: SDTR software defined tactical radio for vehicular and semi-mobile communications


  1. ^ Microwave Engineering
  2. ^ Bloomberg businessweek
  3. ^ NIA - NATO Information Assurance
  4. ^ "Rohde & Schwarz products". Retrieved 2013-12-18. 

External links