For the first time, a new study into the groups entrusted with ensuring public safety has found that law-enforcement members are the largest users of Licensed Mobile Radio (LMR) systems, according to a new report from IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight.
Law-enforcement personnel, together with firefighters, emergency medical teams and private security groups comprising the Public Safety and Security (PSS) sector accounted for more than 40 percent of active radios on LMR systems in 2012, based on findings from the IHS report entitled Vertical Insights – Public Safety and Security Mobile Radio – World – 2013.
“Although IHS has been examining the LMR market for PSS users for more than 15 years now, this is the first report to examine the individual constituent agencies in depth,” said Deryn Evans, senior mobile radio market analyst at HIS (pictured). “The PSS sector is a diverse group of agencies with different functions and operations, but one thing is clear from our research: the importance of good communication technology is universally recognized.
“The advantages of using LMR technology to provide reliable mission-critical communication and to improve interagency cooperation are appreciated, and feature heavily in agency and government strategies—even in developing nations where agencies are still in an earlier stage of development.”
At the end of 2012, more than 27.5 million personnel and well in excess of 2.6 million vehicles were active worldwide in front-line emergency PSS agencies, according to the report, which also examines PSS agency structure and operations as well as the in-depth investigation of radio use
In particular, set-up and operations can vary significantly between countries. Even in regions where PSS organisations are well-established, reform in structural and operational procedures is underway. Volunteers currently play a significant role in many firefighting and emergency medical agencies around the world, but many agencies are looking to increase professionalisation among their ranks due to problems with volunteer retention and staff stability, so reform and investment are expected.
“IHS predicts that as the ratio of volunteer to professional staff changes, the ratio of personnel to radio will also be affected,” Evans noted. “Currently agencies with high volunteer personnel tend to also have a higher personnel-to-radio ratio. But as the professionalization of an agency increases, this ratio typically decreases. Such considerations—coupled with the trend in some regions to increase the number of individuals with their own radios, and for developing nations to implement LMR networks for their fledgling agencies—provide real potential for the continued growth of LMR in the PSS sector.”
Vertical Insights – Public Safety and Security Mobile Radio – World – 2013 by IHS provides for the first time in-depth insight into radio use within the PSS sector. The recently published report provides comprehensive data sets of radio installed base, by both portable and mobile radio terminals, and also examines the potential available market of users through personnel and vehicle numbers. Data is provided by agency group, including law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and other security; and is split by country or geographic region. Historic data and forecasts to 2017 can also be found.