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    New markets keep analogue radio alive


    The analogue professional mobile radio market may not have withered and died with the greater uptake of digital technologies such as TETRA. In fact, new reports from IMS Research show that the analogue sector is experiencing a period of renewed growth. In its most recent quarterly report, IMS Research noted that European sales of analogue radios in 2004 were up 20.1% over the previous year.

    Commenting upon this, senior analyst, John Devlin, said, “It has been interesting to see these developments.  Many within the industry have been predicting the demise of analogue radio for the past few years but competitive pricing and expanding portfolios have actually seen sales increase recently.”
    This renewed growth is not restricted to the radios themselves, the first two quarters of this year saw European analogue infrastructure sales increase on average by 37.4% in comparison to the first half of 2003.
    However, Devlin added, “It should be noted that the vast majority of new networks remain digital, this growth in analogue is not at the expense of digital but represents the success of new markets being opened up by analogue suppliers.”
    Chris Moore Sales and Marketing Manager for Tait Europe commented on the findings.
    “The figures release by IMS Research accurately reflect what we see in the market. The performance and comparatively low infrastructure cost of analogue mobile systems, coupled with the speed with which they can be reliably deployed is driving the selection of Analogue PMR.
    “Many of the Digital PMR Systems have taken longer than expected to ‘Go Live’ and now that they are live there is a general realisation that digital systems do not deliver anything like the level of functionality originally expected.
    “This is particularly true in the provision of data services. This has led to a re-evaluation of the cost/benefit comparison, with many specifiers not being able to justify the investment required in the current digital offerings.  In many cases existing analogue network owners have chosen to upgrade to more sophisticated analogue equipment instead of making a wholesale change of technologies.
    “The latest analogue equipment provides features such as high speed data transmission, GPS connection for AVL applications, encryption, short text messages, status reporting and lone worker protection.”