Led by Asia and the Americas, Global TETRA Shipments Increased by 16 percent in 2017

TETRA markets in Asia and the Americas will grow more quickly than Europe in the coming years

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Developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), terrestrial trunked radio or trans-European trunked radio (TETRA) is a global standard for digital trunked radio. While adoption varies by country and region, growth rates of this magnitude for a mature technology are significant.

While some people question its longevity, its presence on the world stage continues to grow. IHS Markit projects TETRA will continue to provide mission-critical communications well into 2020 and beyond.

TETRA has proven itself the technology of choice for emergency services, and the European public safety and security industry continues to be the backbone of the TETRA market. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, there are persistent reminders of just how important the public safety and security market is, as people around the world face the threat of injury and loss of life from terrorism and anarchy.  

In 2017, there were more than 1,300 terrorist attacks around the world, including the Westminster attack in the United Kingdom in March 2017, the St. Petersburg metro explosion in Russia in April 2017, the attack in Stockholm, Sweden, in April 2017, not to mention the countless foiled terrorist attacks which security forces thwarted.

TETRA has been critical in coordinating the emergency services in many countries, and it will continue to provide mission-critical communications well into the future. The merits of TETRA in critical times are so apparent that Belgium’s nationwide public safety network ASTRID received approval from the Belgian government to invest €117 million in improvements to its network infrastructure, following the bombings in Brussels in 2016.

Investment in the established and new networks are evident across Europe, with deployments continuing to grow in Western Europe. Parts of Eastern Europe are also investing in the technology, with Bulgaria procuring TETRA radios for its police forces and Hungary investing in its nationwide public safety network EDR. Furthermore, shipments destined for Russia increased, as Russia prepares to host the FIFA World Cup this summer.

TETRA markets in Asia and the Americas are now expected to grow more quickly than in the past. In fact, Asia posted its largest growth in deployments in 2017, with airports, metro systems and other transportation hubs adopting the technology.

Americas set for fastest procurement growth
Over the next five years, the fastest procurement growth will come from the Americas, as North America and Latin America continue to adopt the technology. Despite the extensive utilization of P25 communications by emergency services in North America, TETRA continues to penetrate commercial organizations, adding many new users in the transportation and utilities sectors.

TETRA has also been very successful in Latin America, particularly in the public safety and security domain. Parts of Latin America have long suffered endemic corruption and increasing urbanization. Weak states and disparate economic prosperity in the region underpin the need to invest in public safety and security.

Latin America has just 8 percent of the world’s population and 38 percent of recorded murders, so investment in public safety and security is crucial. Latin America also has a very diverse licensed mobile radio (LMR) ecosystem, with no clear leading technology. P25, TETRAPOL, TETRA and cost-optimized digital technology all have a solid presence in this region, bringing with them many opportunities for growth.

Alongside the growth of LMR digital technologies, Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology has also developed on the world stage. Private LTE networks have emerged in China, South America, Australia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. National LTE networks are also planned in South Korea and the United Kingdom, while Angola has opted for a TETRA and LTE convergence solution, for its national communications network.

The United States has affirmed its commitment to rolling out its nationwide FirstNet LTE network, as AT&T secured a 25-year contract to build and maintain the network.

Despite the emergence of LTE technology, LMR adoption will continue to grow, as LTE becomes more established and proves its capability to meet the critical voice communications requirements of emergency services. Over the next few years, LTE will complement critical voice with data, rather than replace LMR altogether. Over the next five to ten years, LTE might be used as a substitute for TETRA, TETRAPOL and other high-end LMR technologies, as capital investments are considered in nationwide or large-scale deployments.

Mobile radio intelligence service
The Mobile Radio Intelligence Service provides extensive coverage of the global professional mobile radio (PMR) market, including licensed mobile radio (LMR), digital mobile radio (DMR), terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA), LMR Infrastructure and LMR accessories, as well as competitive market share.

-- Ryan Darrand, senior analyst, critical communications, IHS Markit, USA.

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