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Asia to drive digital shift of licensed mobile radios

Posted: 06 Jan 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS  Licensed Mobile Radio  LMR  public safety  transportation 

According to the latest report from IHS, as users of Licensed Mobile Radios (LMR) increasingly turn to more sophisticated technology, Asia will usher the global migration of the LMR market from analogue to digital. The percentage of those using digital LMR solutions in Asia will increase from 19 percent this year to 38 percent by 2017, which means that the share of analogue LMR in the market will fall from 81 percent to 62 percent. This year alone, the installed base of digital LMR users in Asia will amount to three million, up from 2.4 million in 2012, added the market research firm.

While analogue LMR gear continues to command the majority of users in the region, volume is trending downward. Active analogue users by year-end will amount to 13.1 million, a decline from 13.4 million, on the way down to 10.7 million by 2017. By then, the rival digital LMR installed base will account for nearly 40 percent of total Asian LMR users of 17.4 million.

Law-enforcement members are the largest users in general of LMR systems, which are also used by firefighters, emergency medical teams and private security groups. The advantages of using LMR technology to provide reliable mission-critical communication and to improve interagency cooperation feature heavily in government strategies, even if set-up and operations can vary significantly between countries.

The shift in the LMR market to digital in Asia is echoed on a worldwide basis. Digital solutions will grow to account for 50 percent of the global LMR market by 2017, up from 29 percent by the end of 2013. In comparison, analogue LMR will see its portion of market worldwide slide from 71 percent to 50 percent during the same time.

Even as additional users continue to join LMR networks in Asia, the region will see a growing portion moving away from analogue to digital. As the region's economies develop, investments are being made, and the benefits of dedicated LMR systems are also becoming more widely known and appreciated throughout the area. This means Asia represents a significant opportunity for suppliers of LMR technologies. Nearly one-third of the worldwide LMR base resides currently in Asia.

Among digital LMR solutions, Tetra, P25 and Tetrapol had early success on the Asian continent, mostly in public safety and transportation applications. While these technologies will continue to grow in the region for the coming years, significant migration will also be driven by newer digital standards such as DMR, dPMR and PDT. China, in particular, will drive a substantive move of the LMR public safety sector to digital, through the country's large-scale conversion of its police force to PDT.

With the increasing range of digital LMR technologies to be available at a variety of price points, end users will have more choice than ever in choosing the technology that offers the functionality as well as budget befitting their operations.

All told, revenue in Asia for LMR terminals, infrastructure, accessories and command and control will exceed $4.5 billion by 2017, representing notable growth opportunities for these industry areas during the next few years, IHS indicated.





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