Lost in transition

Iain Ivory speaks to Sam Fenwick about the issues surrounding the transition from PMR to mission-critical broadband

One of the best people to speak with, on the sidelines of critical communications events, to get a feel for what’s really going on is Iain Ivory. Founder and partner of Hermitage Comms, a telecoms and IT consultancy, he is also a member of TCCA’s Critical Communications Broadband Group.

He says the challenge for the PMR industry is that it is getting “squeezed at both ends” – with low-end customers switching over to cellular and the high-end “value-add” side of things running up against cellular’s greater bandwidth, which has allowed it to capture the mobile working market.

“[PMR] will be around for many years, but in the early 2020s, [it] will be hugely challenged by 4G/5G services if we get to the point where MCPTT has matured. If the spectrum issue for private LTE systems gets addressed, there is a fundamental threat to the PMR market – in five to 10 years’ time it will be a shadow of its former self.”

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