IHS has been tracking the market for Licensed Mobile Radio (LMR) for approximately 15 years. In this time many users around the world have migrated to digital, including the majority of public safety agencies in Europe, which migrated to TETRA. However, there still remains a significant analogue installed base; at the end of 2012, users of analogue technologies were still estimated to make up 75 percent of the worldwide user base. However, as the migration to digital is gaining momentum in many regions, this proportion is set to decrease significantly over the next 5 years.
Asia is one of the regions where the migration is gathering pace. It makes up approximately one third of the worldwide LMR installed base and over 85% of its users are currently using analogue, but this is forecast to drop to approximately 60% by 2017. As well as migrating to digital, additional users are still joining LMR networks in Asia, with the installed base forecast to grow by over 1.5 million extra users over the next 5 years. As the region’s economies develop, investments are being made and the benefits of dedicated LMR systems are becoming more widely known and appreciated in the region, meaning Asia represents a significant opportunity for suppliers of LMR technologies.
TETRA, P25 and TETRAPOL had early success in the region, mostly in public safety and transportation applications. In the coming years these technologies will continue to grow but in some areas significant migration will be driven by newer digital standards such as DMR, dPMR and PDT. In China in particular PDT for the police will drive a large conversion to digital in public safety sector in the next 5 years.
With this increasing range of digital LMR technologies available at a variety of price points, end users now have more choice than ever before and can choose the technology that offers the functionality for their operations but also fits their budget.
It is predicted that revenues in Asia for LMR terminals, infrastructure, accessories and command and control will grow to be in excess of $4.5 billion by 2017, representing a significant growth opportunity in these industry areas, across technologies, in the next 5 years. The return of Critical Communications World to Asia in 2014 means companies can get early exposure to this active and growing market.