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News

Market report on emergency services communication equipment

ABI Research : 07 November, 2008  (New Product)
Significant growth predicted by ABI Research in the market for wireless communication terminals used by the emergency services
The market for terminals used by emergency services personnel looks set to grow significantly over the next five years from slightly more than $1 billion in 2007 to more than $3.6 billion in 2013, according to a new study from ABI Research. This growth will occur as agencies standardize on digital technologies such as APCO/TIA Project 25 and ETSI TETRA. Although something of a laggard compared to markets in other regions, the North American market looks set to be the largest global opportunity in the long term, as federal funding filters down through the system.

Vice president Stuart Carlaw notes that, "The public safety wireless communications market for technology and geographic location has solidified. North America is dominated by P25, while the rest of the world seems set on the European-developed TETRA standard with isolated islands of P25 in the Asia-Pacific region and legacy TETRAPOL in France."

In the United States, public safety agencies apply for funding grants to obtain the equipment and training they need. This decentralized procurement means that the funding mechanisms do not make coordination easy. In Europe, several blue light networks are funded on a nationwide basis. The European model is also largely privatized: rather than government being the provider of these services, it is private cellular operators; O2 plays this role for the UK's Airwave system.

Carlaw adds, "First responder terminal vendors see the fragmented, but huge and less mature, US market as the greatest opportunity for the future, although it must be recognized that penetration into this market is difficult due to technology choice and to Motorola's preeminent market position."

The new ABI Research study, First Responder Wireless Communications, describes the emergence of digital wireless communications networks for first responder agencies. It outlines the challenges faced by public safety personnel, and explains the initiatives of TIA and ETSI to develop standard air protocols and interfaces that satisfy market requirements. The report examines FCC regulations, explains some of the salient technology features, and regulatory, investment, and adoption trends, and forecasts the size of these markets to 2013.
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