IHS: Middle East Offers Strong Growth for Critical Communications Equipment
Monday, November 14, 2016 | Comments

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) will experience the fastest rate of digitization in the world, according to analysts IHS Markit. Shipments of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and other technology increased by more than 300 percent during 2015, and the MEA region is projected to be one of the world’s fastest growth markets for TETRA technology.

Led by TETRA, the MEA professional mobile radio (PMR) market was the fastest growth market globally in 2015, with shipments into the region increasing by 30 percent. TETRA shipments more than doubled in 2015, accounting for 29 percent of total shipments and significantly eroding the analog installed base.

These statistics were underlined by the success of the TETRA + Critical Communications Association (TCCA)’s fourth Critical Communications Middle East and Africa event, which recently took place in Dubai. “Once again this region has demonstrated its innovation and ability to translate critical communications concepts into reality,” said Phil Kidner, TCCA CEO.

“The Middle East and Africa have particularly favorable conditions for growth in the critical communications market,” said Ryan Darrand, senior analyst II in the IHS critical communications team. “As regions rich in natural resources are faced with security concerns, critical communications have become more important. The MEA region has been an early adopter of LTE technologies. However, most networks have been used as a complementary data service to existing narrowband systems, and it will take some time before LTE is rolled out for critical communications voice.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its intention to reserve sections of the 700 MHz and 800 MHz spectrum for broadband services, expected to promote the migration of public-safety organizations onto LTE technologies. Qatar built a public-safety LTE network with commercial LTE equipment in the 800 MHz band, while maintaining its existing TETRA network for critical communications. In Saudi Arabia, national operator Bravo announced plans to replace proprietary technology with TETRA and LTE.

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