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

Rohde & Schwarz 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 8400 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. Most products are manufactured in the Rohde & Schwarz plants in Memmingen, Teisnach and Vimperk (Czech Republic). In 2005, Rohde & Schwarz acquired HAMEG 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.

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