Sarokal Test Systems – A forerunner in fronthaul testing 

Introducing Sarokal Test Systems: a patented innovation for the latest 5G technology. 

A pioneer in testing systems 

Sarokal Test Systems Oy was founded in 2013 as part of Sarokal Solutions. The company created pioneering testing systems for the fronthaul network even before ‘fronthaul’ became an industry-term.  

However, the future appeared uncertain for the Oulu-based company during their first two years in business. They did not succeed at their first attempt, as their CEO Harri Valasma has stated.  

“In 2008, the industry wasn’t ready for our revolutionary ways. A few years later, we were able to successfully enter the market with the right product at the right time.”, says Valasma. 

“We had a strong vision for the future of 5G. Despite the first years being difficult, we thankfully were able to pull it off in the end.”, he admits.  

Succeeding in the global market in 2015 was the turning point.  

“The first global sales led to rapid growth in 2015. The first year’s turnover was €100k and increased to €2.2m in the fourth year”, Valasma explains.  

An innovative solution

The X-STEP™ Test System can be used in system testing from ASIC/FPGA verification all the way to field testing and production. 

Sarokal’s customers include base station original equipment manufacturers, mobile network operators, IP and IC vendors – to only name a few. 

“Let’s say there is a faulty base station. We are able to locate where the issues lie and contact maintenance right away – all from a remote location. This also helps us to detect and prevent any arising issues in advance.”

Going global 

The main markets for Sarokal Test Systems are the United States, China, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. 70% of the current turnover comes from exports. Sarokal is planning to increase their exports by establishing branch offices in the US and soon in China as well. According to Harri Valasma, the turnover from exports is expected rise to 90% in the near future. 

Their main goal is gaining new customers. The aim is to increase the number of customers by 50%. The turnover is expected to reach over €3 million during 2017. One of their main challenges, however, is gaining visibility for their patented test system. 

“I don’t see an end to our growth as 5G networks will keep on requiring new solutions. Everyone wants to be part of the evolution and we are the right partner to make sure everything runs smoothly.”, Harri Valasma, CEO, claims. 

Hub for global contacts and meetings

Sarokal has attended the Mobile World Congress every single year since 2015.
“Being part of the Finpro stand enables a small company like ours to participate in the Mobile World Congress.“, says Valasma.

According to him, MWC has proven to be a very efficient meeting hub for gaining international contacts. 

“This is the perfect place for networking – we’ve never come home empty-handed. It requires a lot of preparation as you should contact customers you wish to meet in advance. Booking meetings is much easier that way.”, Valasma points out. 

When being a troublemaker is a good thing

Sarokal is actively developing and creating new ways of working with 5G technology, which requires seeing and doing things differently. Building on 4G technology might not be the most efficient way of working anymore. 

“It has been common to work with more expensive hardware solutions. Now Sarokal offers the same functionalities in a more flexible set-up – updating only the software instead of having to replace all of the hardware. We are able to respond to customer needs a lot quicker than before.”

More than half of all 26 employees work in product development. The core team of 6 original members is still very much involved in the daily business operations, so no knowledge is lost on the way. Sarokal has truly created their own path. 

“Ironically, we are considered the troublemakers of this market as we refuse to do things how they always have been done. Coming up with new ways of working and testing is definitely at the core of our business and the key to our success.”, says the CEO. 

Connectivity from Finland 

  • Sarokal is a member of Finpro’s growth program titled ‘Connectivity from Finland’, which unites connectivity experts from across Finland under the same mission of delivering innovative solutions and value adding digital services for operators. 
  • The program supports the Finnish connectivity industry’s international growth and helps companies access global business opportunities in select target markets.
  • For more information, please go to: Connectivity from Finland
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