Huge uptake of mission critical LTE predicted

The mission critical broadband market is set to rapidly expand in the coming years, according to figures released by analysts IHS Markit.

Analysis from the organisation indicates that utilities will be the most fertile sector, with 120 per cent growth predicted by 2021. The public safety market will likewise double in size, with transport representing an 80 per cent increase.

Speaking of the figures, IHS Markit senior analyst, critical communications technology, Jesus Gonzalez said: “The growing appetite for broadband-enabled data applications - and the increasing possibility of spectrum allocation in many parts of the world - means that the market for private/hybrid broadband networks for LMR/PMR users will continue to expand across multiple sectors”

He continued: “As a result, the critical communications industry will move towards a mix of broadband-capable network solutions such as private LTE or the various operating models possible with commercial and private LTE. It is unlikely that users will adopt broadband solutions to the exclusion of existing LMR/PMR, but adoption will be along the lines of a complementary service that allows users to communicate across LMR/PMR and cellular networks, depending on specific operational requirements.”

Discussing the conditions necessary for increased adoption of LTE, a spokesperson for critical communications organisation TCCA said: “The successful evolution of the LTE critical communications market is dependent on the incorporation of critical users’ specific requirements. [These include] features such as push-to-talk and group call which are not currently available on commercial networks.

“Mission critical communications features and services have been a key priority of 3GPP in recent years, and have been specified and incorporated into 3GPP releases since R13. This has been catalysed by the work of TCCA.”

The second ETSI mission critical push to talk (MCPTT) plugtests event was held earlier this year in Texas. Mission critical data and mission critical video interworking capabilities were tested for the first time, as well as voice.