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 information content.
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.
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 the U.S.
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 identified:
Practel will continue the analysis of LMR technologies and markets trends: dynamics of developments require a periodic update of reports.
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