Research Firm Says Mobile Radio Infrastructure Market Up 14% in 2017
Wednesday, November 21, 2018 | Comments

A market research firm said the global market for licensed mobile radio infrastructure and system integration increased 14 percent, reaching $4.6 billion in 2017. Significant growth was noted in Asia, as revenues increased by 26 percent. However, Europe also experienced 8 percent growth in infrastructure and system integration revenue.

Cost-optimized digital technology accounted for the largest infrastructure and system integration market in 2017, accounting for 50 percent of all infrastructure revenues globally. Project 25 (P25) infrastructure in North America accounted for more than three-quarters of the world’s P25-derived infrastructure revenue. TETRA infrastructure revenues increased in every major region in 2017, and IHS Markit projects revenues will exceed $1 billion by 2022.

IHS Markit projects that cost-optimized digital technology, such as Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), NXDN and private Digital Mobile Radio (dPMR), will be the fastest growing infrastructure and systems integration market during the next five years, competing with TETRA not only in commercial and business-critical sectors but also public-safety and security sectors in developing regions.

Cost-optimized digital technologies are increasingly popular in public-safety and security sectors in developing parts of the world where no national TETRA or P25 network exists, such as in China, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, as well as Africa and Eastern Europe. The digital technology is also successful in business-critical sectors in developed regions, such as North America, Japan and the United Kingdom.

P25 is prevalent in Australia, parts of the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia, but the largest single market is North America, which adopted P25 as the communications of choice for its emergency services. Despite the coexistence of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), the broadband data network for emergency services, narrowband P25 continues to see renewed investment across North America, with large-scale network upgrades in 2018. North America is forecast to remain the largest global market for P25 infrastructure and systems integration.

TETRA-derived infrastructure revenues increased in every major region in 2017, with particular growth noted across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas; however, the real success story was China, which has increased investment into TETRA sharply during the past couple of years, providing secure communications to transportation hubs in metropolitan areas.

Europe has a diverse mix of technologies. It is home to the world’s largest share of TETRA and TETRAPOL networks serving nationwide mission-critical public-safety networks over many years. Investment into narrowband technology continues to increase, despite the emergence of Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. Germany, the United Kingdom and Nordic countries have invested heavily in TETRA. In fact, this year the United Kingdom announced that it will extend its Airwave network until at least 2022.

There are also ongoing upgrades to the ASTRID network in Belgium, the C2000 network in the Netherlands and the PIT network in Italy. Investment continues in many parts of Western Europe, with new entrants in Eastern Europe and developing parts of Europe.

TETRAPOL, despite the maturity of this technology, also continues to provide upgrades to existing users, including a midlife upgrade to Switzerland’s Polycom network and the Hamburg transport hub. Some nations such as Croatia, without a nationwide TETRA or TETRAPOL network, consider cost-optimized digital technology for their mission-critical requirements.

Asia has a large network of cost-optimized digital technologies, in both the public-safety and security sectors and business-critical sectors. The Chinese government officially backed the nationwide migration of police forces across China to Professional Digital Trunking (PDT), which bolsters investment into cost-optimized digital technologies in this region. Other Asian countries, such as India, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, have invested in cost-optimized digital technology.

Despite the emergence of LTE technology, investment in mobile radio infrastructure continues to increase, as governments and commercial sectors use secure, low-latency, high-resilience narrowband networks to fulfill their critical communications requirements.

“In the short term, LTE will complement critical voice with data, rather than replace LMR altogether, as investment into LTE is required to increase coverage and resilience,” the market research firm said. “Only in the next five to 10 years could LTE substitute for TETRA, TETRAPOL or other high-end licensed mobile radio technologies, as capital investments are considered in nationwide or large-scale deployments.”

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