Wireless comms predictions for 2019

With 2018 now in the rearview mirror and with 2019 still (relatively) newborn, Land Mobile has rounded up some of the industry’s predictions for the year ahead

While much of this issue has focused on the past, over these two pages we’ll turn to the future. As has become an industry tradition, many well-known figures have made their predictions for what 2019 will bring, for two-way radio and the telecoms industry.

Tim Cull, head of business radio at the Federation of Communication Services (FCS), expects that “2019 will see the start of a regulatory focus on data air traffic”, with a focus on “accommodating new and important operational needs while not messing up the essential communications that already exist. The problem is that there isn’t enough radio spectrum in the allocated bands to support the existing communications to the required resilience and also accommodate a vast increase in operational data traffic. Ofcom correctly believes that now is the time to address this before it gets completely out of hand.”

Cull also notes that 2018 saw a very significant increase in business radio solutions being placed into light-licensed radio spectrum. This may well have been a natural response to the difficulties of getting technically assigned licences early in the year (and also for the latter part of 2017) and the making available of more light-licensed radio channels. However, while “light-licensing is a very attractive solution to many business radio needs and definitely has a great future”, he notes that “there are a lot of users who really do need their radio spectrum protected to the greatest extent possible; especially these days with customer demands for more legal certainty”. So, with the move of the sharing number to three and the removal of the licensing difficulties (in all but a very few cases), he predicts that 2019 will see growth in technically assigned licences.

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