Software Defined Radio - Rate of Adoption
The Wireless Innovation Forum commissioned Mobile Experts LLC in 2011 to perform a market study evaluating the adoption of SDR technologies in various markets. The results of this study demonstrated that, in many markets, SDR has moved beyond the innovators and early adopters as defined by Geoffrey Moore in “Crossing the Chasm” into the early majority phase defining the mainstream market*. In this phase, adopters select a technology not because it is innovative or visionary but because it has been shown to successfully solve a problem within their specific market.
Examples of SDR adoption illustrating the transition to the mainstream are abundant:
- Over 93% of the mobile infrastructure market utilizes SDR technology, and future growth to support mobile data demand will simply drive more SDR base stations.
- Almost 1 billion software defined radios will be shipped in 2011 for mobile terminal applications
- Virtually all of the tactical radios sold for military communications utilize SDR technology today.
- Virtually all of the new public safety radio equipment sold on the marketplace (both in terms of base station infrastructure and field radios) has adopted software-defined radio technology.
- Satellite “modems” in the commercial and defense markets make pervasive use of SDR Technology for intermediate frequency and baseband signal processing
While these types of systems are often not marketed as “SDR’s”, they utilize and benefit from SDR technologies to solve market specific problems such as; cost of development, cost of production, cost of upgrades and maintenance, time to market in supporting new and evolving air interface standards, or problems associated with network interoperability.
In addition, the Wireless Innovation Forum’s market and technology studies have shown that cost effective radio frequency technologies supporting the operation of software defined radios over a broad spectral range have begun to mature, allowing for the first time the use of software defined radio as an enabling technology for dynamic spectrum access systems with cognitive or smart radio functionality. This trend is expected to continue over the next several years, allowing SDR to finally achieve the defined vision of reducing costs in providing end-users with access to ubiquitous wireless communications – enabling them to communicate with whomever they need, whenever they need to and in whatever manner is appropriate
* Geoffrey A. Moore, Crossing the Chasm (Revised Addition), Harper Collins Publishers, 2002