IMS Research forecasts the number of terminals shipped to professional radio users will increase to more than seven million by the end of 2012. The company tracks the installed base and shipments of licensed mobile radio (LMR) terminals (both in car and hand portable), and believes that the digital revolution is underway. This will drive further growth in the LMR terminal market, leading to forecasts of nearly eight million terminals in 2016.
In 2011, users of analogue technologies were still estimated to make up 80% of the overall professional mobile radio PMR market. However, this proportion is set to change with increased levels of shipments and in particular, digital shipments, forecast through to 2016 driving the overall growth trend in the PMR Market.
According to Thomas Lynch, associate director at IMS Research (pictured): ‘The transition to digital is here to stay. It is more than evident from 2010 and 2011 recorded shipments that digital technologies are starting to reshape the market. There are a number of key drivers behind this, not least that agencies throughout the vertical markets, are starting to see the efficiencies that can be gained by utilising digital technologies.’
There are other drivers which are expected to help enable the continued growth of LMR terminals. The first is that new users continue to be added to the networks. This is in recognition that radio plays an important part in modern every day operations and with the event of digital and especially data, agencies are starting to see the benefit in using radio as their primary communications medium.
Further drivers include: legislation and the need for spectrum efficiency; increased interest in digital from manufacturers providing more options; and that is quite simply time to upgrade communications systems for many agencies.
IMS Research forecasts that the market will both grow in terms of new users, but also in terms of the proportion of digital users and that over the next four or five years, the PMR market will look considerably different. New technologies entering the market such as PDT, DMR Tier 3 and P25 Phase 2 will also play their part in providing end users with more digital choice than ever.
While IMS Research believes the both the overall and digital market will grow, there is still further education of end users required to ensure this transition and shipment growth.
‘End users are starting to gain more and more understanding of the benefits of digital and are thus choosing to switch over. However, further education about the different types of solution, the applications that can be utilised on any such solution and the USP of any technology specific to that agency, need to be addressed,’ said Lynch.
‘If manufacturers can really specify and educate their potential markets as to the benefits of digital solutions then this trend will continue beyond 2016 leaving a very different market place by 2020,’ he added.
IMS Research’s recently published report Licensed Mobile Radio – World - 2012 assesses the market for licensed mobile radios by providing detailed shipment and revenue analysis by country/region and vertical application area, and provides in-depth commentary of the factors affecting the market in each country.