Benefits of Easy Upgradeability of Telecom Base Station Technology Drives the Software Defined Radio Market, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

San Jose, California (PRWEB) August 24, 2012

Follow us on LinkedIn Software Defined Radio (SDR) refers to a technology that is making significant waves in telecommunications and related industries. The technology is witnessing a rapid growth, as software-led radio communication systems are fast replacing the hardwired communication systems. The shift is being witnessed in several industries, with military, commercial and civilian industries at the forefront of this change. The basis for such a shift is fostered by the capabilities of the technology to render multi tasking through a radio system based on open-architecture software. This minimizes the use of multiple systems that was hitherto the case with existing technology, as SDR technology extends the systems utility to a broad array of applications employing diverse link-layer techniques and protocols.

The military was the first industry to have adopted SDR technology worldwide, where it is aimed at minimizing the number of radios used by combat forces to just one system, upholding the overall functionality. Today, SDR represents an advanced technology in military applications; consequently inciting militaries worldwide to adopt this technology. The US military became the first to adopt this technology and is increasingly being adopted by other militaries worldwide. Consequently, the potential of SDR technology in the military application market is expected to rapidly increase in the foreseeable future. Also, SDR is gaining importance in commercial markets. The communications sector is the epicenter of most activity related to SDR technology adoption. Increasingly cellular operators are realizing the importance of SDR technology in their operations and the potential this technology holds in transforming the functionality of existing infrastructure, all through the power of software. Consequently, demand for systems of the cutting edge technology is expected to rise remarkably during the following years. Future market growth hinges upon several factors including relative ease infused in components for engendering ease in retrofitting and adaptation of products in congruence to constantly developing air interface standards; improvements with respect to cost of developing products; time to market; and prospects in improving OEM margins.

A major factor driving the demand for SDR is the need for such an enabling technology that allows intercommunication between departments through radio. The need was particularly highlighted in the US in the aftermath of 9/11, when fire and police department personnel identified the need for the ability to communicate with each other, a facility not feasible for the radios in operation then. However, technology upgrade ensued and the problem was eliminated. Even before the 9/11 incident, the military identified such a problem with their legacy radio systems carried by various branches of armed services. The identification of the problem led to the use of Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), which played a critical role in development of SDR, and in creation of SCA (Software Communication Architecture) Operating Environment standard. The latest zest in the area of SDR is emerging from the commercial market side, where wireless communications providers are showing significant interest as the technology allows remote base station and handset software upgrading as well as reconfiguration with new patches and features. In addition, the technology allows interoperability between various networks.

The present days changing economic and technological environment offers tremendous challenges to operators of communications. The SDR technology offers substantial flexibility as well as upgradeability to users by allowing simultaneous use of multiple standards through a single hardware device. Through the use of software RAN, the SDR technology helps operators to simultaneously support several standards on one hardware platform. This becomes particularly useful for operators with evolving industry landscape where the need for generating new revenue streams and holding on to a higher customer base becomes critical despite declining average revenues per user (ARPU). Software RAN enables upgradeability to next generations through mere software downloads, eliminating the need for equipment hardware, thereby addressing the major concern faced by most cellular service providers in the present context. For years, shared infrastructure has been offering benefits such as cost reduction; however, it has been fraught with certain issues that have reduced its appeal including dearth of independent upgrades, lack of competitive differentiation and requirement of cooperative management. Some or all of these issues are efficiently addressed by a virtualized base station through its virtualization technology, where a single hardware platform supports several independent base-station applications.

Cost remains a major concern for cellular operators, as these costs continue to remain higher than what many operators intend to infuse in base stations. The prohibitively higher costs of implementation make it particularly unsuitable for telecom companies, given the lack of cost-effective RF processing. RF equipment, particularly power amplifiers, is yet to reach the stage of commercialization, although base-band processing capabilities have significantly advanced. The higher costs act as a major hurdle for operators that are yet to formulate a LTE strategy and indecisive of the spectrum to be run on the LTE. Traditionally, hardware upgrades represented the most sought after option for operators intending to install new systems. This was achieved by depending upon a single vendor who took care of the entire hardware installation functions, although the mobile operators undertook the job of service and maintenance functions. However, this set up does not function well in case of SDR technology, as the entire reconfiguration is carried out by the vendor. Instead, the operator would be compelled to host a dedicated software engineer team for maintaining the SDR base stations.

As stated by the new market research report on Software Defined Radio, the US represents the largest regional market for the SDR technology worldwide. The radio communications space in the country is witnessing a substantial growth in research and development, given the drive of the defense establishments to address the need of its personnel with respect to next generation tactical radios. The defense sector is expected to witness a massive shift away from legacy hardware into SDR and cognitive radio (CR), enabled by the deployment of OTA (over-the-air)-system supporting radio systems, fuelling further growth in the market. The European market for SDR is also expected to growth at a substantial rate of 17.4% through the analysis period 2010-2018.

Major players in the global SDR marketplace include AeroStream Communications Corp., Alcatel-Lucent SA, Array Systems Computing, Inc., Bharat Electronics Limited, Epiq Solutions, LLC, FlexRadio Systems, Inc., Harris Corporation, ISR Technologies, Inc., Rockwell Collins, Inc., and Thales Communications, Inc.

The research report titled Software Defined Radio (SDR): A Global Strategic Business Report announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, company profiles, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities. The report provides market estimates and projections in terms of annual revenues in US$ million for major geographic markets including the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, UK and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific, and Rest of World.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

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