Considerable research was done using the Internet. Information from various
Web sites was studied and analyzed; evaluation of publicly available marketing
and technical publications was conducted. Telephone conversations and
interviews were held with industry analysts, technical experts and executives.
In addition to these interviews and primary research, secondary sources were
used to develop a more complete mosaic of the market landscape, including
industry and trade publications, conferences and seminars.
The overriding objective throughout the work has been to provide valid and
relevant information. This has led to a continual review and update of the
This report is important for organizations using LMR. They need to understand
the market dynamics and to be familiar with vendors' portfolios to make a
right choice in selection of equipment.
For LMR vendors, this report provides valuable information on competition. It
also supports these vendors with the market assessments.
The goal of this report is to update LMR-related reports published by Practel
in 2010-2011. The report is written for a wide audience of technical,
managerial and sales staff of companies involved in the design, manufacturing
and utilization of Land Mobile Radio; with the emphasis on Public Safety
Communications (PSC) applications.
Particular, this report includes:
1. The updated analysis of the phased development of P25 radio. The current
status of the technology, markets and standards and survey of vendors are
presented. Though the standardization process started almost twenty years ago,
commercialization is still slow; and the market development is unsatisfactory.
This situation is addressed by all parties involved in the PSC development in
2. The updated analysis of the phased development of TETRA radio. This
technology found more geographically spread market segments than P25 (and we
are at the beginning of TETRA penetration into the U.S. territory). Its
Release II offers a combination of voice and data transmission that brings
sufficient benefits to the users; but the growth of markets still does not
satisfy the TETRA community.
3. The updated analysis of narrow-banding LMR radios, including NXDN and
MOTOTRBO. The NXDN radio development is a result of joint efforts of two
companies, Icom and Kenwood and it is based on the FDMA technology. The
companies developed two lines of products, IDAS (Icom) and NEXEDGE (Kenwood);
these radios were implemented with many advanced technological features,
including 6.25 kHz channels. At the same time, Motorola introduced its
MOTOTRBO line of digital LMRs, which also utilized newer technologies and is
based on the TDMA technology.
4. The analysis of the 4.9 GHz radio technology for broadband PSC. The FCC
allocated the 4940-4990 MHz spectrum for broadband PSC. The technology can
utilize the existing Wi-Fi ICs, and it supports long-reach communications with
speeds 50 Mb/s and up. It utilizes a) OFDM, b) Multi-radio platforms, and c)
Self-healing and self-organized mesh topology. One of the major 4.9 GHz radio
applications for PSC is temporary fast-deployable networks.
5. The update on the role of LTE technologies in the development of Public
Safety Communications. 4G LTE is increasingly recognized as the right wireless
technology to evolve and standardize public safety communications. In January
2011, the Federal Communications Commission in the United States selected LTE
as the data standard for a nationwide public safety network. LTE's ability to
enable nationwide interoperability was a key factor in the FCC decision. The
First Responder Network Authority board voted unanimously (2013) to start a
process that could enable seven public-safety jurisdictions to resume LTE
network deployments they were forced to halt in the spring of 2012.
6. Altogether, the following major trends in the development of PSC were
- a) Advancing P25 and TETRA technologies, including various
- b) Further developing of SDR - based platforms and broadband PSC;
- c) Gradual introduction of the LTE technology;
- d) In the analyzed time period, standardized narrowband LMR technologies
(P25, TETRA, NXDN and other) will support the growing markets;
- e) 4G technologies (such as LTE) are introducing PSC features gradually;
and expect to present serious competition (to P25 and TETRA) in the 2018-2020
time frame. It is very possible that at that time the transition of these
"traditional" networks to the 4G infrastructure will be in progress.
Practel will continue the analysis of LMR technologies and markets trends:
dynamics of developments require a periodic update of reports.