Reader Predictions for 2013
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 | Comments
 
 
Last week we asked readers of MissionCritical Communications for their industry predictions for the coming year. Movement in the nationwide public-safety broadband network topped the list of expectations, followed closely by narrowbanding and digital radio-related predictions.
 
Broadband and Long Term Evolution (LTE) were among the top predictions, and some readers had rosier outlooks than others. The most positive predictions said LTE and broadband applications will begin to advance, and the First Responder Network (FirstNet) authority will develop architecture and governance models for the network. Several readers predicted the FirstNet board will allow the seven cities that won Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding to move forward with public-safety LTE buildouts.
 
Some readers predicted “broadband systems will move slowly” and “the transition from discussions and hype will move into actual industry applications.” Others said the nationwide public-safety LTE network will “stall out,” and “be pushed back because of costs.” Another prediction said “ubiquitous public-safety LTE availability will be scaled back to more realistic coverage.”
 
Narrowbanding-related predictions covered both optimistic and pessimistic views as well. Several readers said narrowbanded systems will experience interference from wideband users, will not be completed by the end of the year and will cause “massive coverage gaps.” Others predicted increased sales of narrowbanded equipment and new radio system supplemental projects.
 
Digital radio use is expected to increase, according to most readers. TETRA, Project 25 (P25) Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) and NXDN were the most discussed digital radio technologies. Most predictions cited industry growth from digital technologies and associated data applications.
 
Many users predicted more text to 9-1-1 calls, integration and standards for 2013. Several readers expect next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) advances, although funding was cited as a challenge to all 9-1-1 projects.
 
While some readers predicted federal grants and funding will dry up, most respondents predicted an increase in revenue from 2 percent up to 20 percent during 2013 compared with last year. Several readers noted positive signs for the SMR sector specifically. “We are already starting to see people switching back to two-way radios from using the Sprint Nextel digital system,” said one reader. “It appears the stage is set for a revitalization of the SMR industry,” another respondent predicted.
 
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