Jun 27, 2020
The two-way voice was one of the first commercial applications of radio technology. It was first implemented in the patrol cars of the New Jersey Police Department in 1993. It evolved beyond public safety and positioned itself as an invaluable tool for mobile professionals in the areas of transportation, education, building construction, energy, security, public safety, government, retail, and hospitality. The prediction from the report places the growth of CAGR around 3.5% over the next five years, and by 2022 the market will be worth $30B. 
The COVID pandemic has forced public healthcare workers to interact frequently with responders. It’s essential that employees need clear and responsive communication. The two-way communication has been mostly an analog medium, changing with the digital technology disruption. The digital two-way radio, when compared with a traditional analog model, offers greater spectral efficiency for higher calling capacity, enhanced voice quality even with a higher RF range in difficult environments.
Need & Evolution: Analog to Digital
There are three major categories, first is the commercial and light industrial category consisting of retail, agriculture, and hospitality, where they fall under unlicensed and incorporation of onsite technology. Second is the professional category consisting mainly of verticals, such as airports, transportation, local government, petrochemical, manufacturing, construction, mining, warehousing, etc., that require a conventional license. The third is the public safety and mission-critical category, consisting of emergency services, security, and public transport operating on TETRA license and TIA conventional licensing.
The potential lies in the professional category having wide opportunities with the latest adoption of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technology. It’s essential to understand the difference between TDMA and Frequency Division Multiple Channel Access (FDMA) technologies. Basically, it’s the bandwidth at a particular frequency defined for a channel.
The TDMA technology signal is divided into slots that allow two digital conversations to take place simultaneously in a single channel and use the second slot to deliver additional information such as priority signaling, IP dispatch data, and call control enhancement. In contrast, the FDMA can carry only one conversation at a time in an analog system. Both systems act on a 12.5 kHz spectrum.
Trends Influencing Push-to-Talk Market
Major factors will drive the market push to talk over cellular and data applications, increase robust smartphones, and transition from analog to digital radio systems. Companies are concentrating on the development and production of versatile, effective, and creative push-to-talk products. The challenge and opportunity lie in providing single-chip solutions that can receive the bulk of receiver and transmitter signal chains to provide frequency hopping, automatic gain control to smooth the wide variations, and providing the possibility of upgrading to the future waveforms.
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