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O N L I N E  E X C L U S I V E

Dubai to Host 2012 Conferences in Lucrative Region

December 13, 2011

 
 
 
During May 2012, two professional mobile radio (PMR) conferences and exhibitions will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Middle East is appealing to the mission-critical communications industry for a number of reasons.
 
The Middle East is becoming the next battleground for digital technologies, such as Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), digital Private Mobile Radio (dPMR), TETRA and Project 25 (P25), all making their claim within the region and all vying for market share.
 
The region’s analog installed base of more than 1.5 million units will move toward digital solutions over time, said Thomas Lynch, analyst at IMS Research. Lynch predicts 40 percent of all active licensed radios will be digital by the end of 2015.
 
“The Middle East is set to prove an interesting development zone for the PMR industry, where after more than 20 percent drops in unit shipments during the economic downturn in 2009, the market has bounced back significantly beyond pre-recession levels,” said Lynch. “Backed by infrastructure developments in Qatar and Abu Dhabi and the region’s willingness to become a key player in international affairs, the growth potential of a range of different PMR technologies remains strong.”
 
The Institute of International Finance predicted the overall real gross domestic product (GDP) in UAE to expand by 4.4 percent in 2011 and 3.1 percent in 2012. Average overall growth of Arab oil-exporting countries is projected to increase from 4.7 percent in 2010 to 6.5 percent in 2011, buoyed by higher oil and gas production and large increases in government spending, the institute said in an October report.
 
Of the digital technologies, TETRA is forecast to have the highest number of active users before the end of 2015. Perhaps this is why the TETRA World Congress is scheduled for Dubai 14 – 17 May. On the event website, Dubai is described as a “vibrant and cosmopolitan city” and “one of the most renowned places to do business in the Middle East.”
 
In fact, several TETRA manufacturers recently announced partnerships in the UAE. Cassidian partnered with Khalifa University and Emiraje Systems to establish the cyber operations center of excellence located at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, UAE, following an agreement signed in 2010. Damm Cellular Systems and Creowave both recently signed distribution partners in the UAE.
 
Just a few weeks before the TETRA World Congress, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International will hold its second annual APCO Global Congress in Dubai 1 – 3 May. Dubai also hosted last year’s inaugural APCO Global Congress.
 
Officials from the P25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) said P25 systems are deployed in UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Lynch said P25 shipments are forecast to increase year on year, and APCO is the association that began the U.S.-based P25 public-safety digital radio standard. However, the APCO Global Congress is technology neutral, officials said. “This event does not advocate one technology over another; this is not a P25 conference,” said the conference website. “The congress seeks to showcase all types of technology and education available to public-safety professionals in the global arena.”
 
“Strengthening our partner relationships and growing our network of public-safety partners in the Middle East is an understatement,” said Geoff Spring, APCO Global Alliance chair. “This event and public-safety professionals worldwide are molding our industry to fit a universal, unmatched standard of public safety, so we can all live safer and better prepared. This is a major advancement for our industry.”
 
IMS Research reports that DMR technology will see the quickest growth in terms of compound average growth rate (CAGR) in the Middle East of all the digital technologies. Several manufacturers, including Simoco Group and Tait Electronics, plan to launch commercial DMR products during 2012, and the Dubai events will be excellent opportunities to showcase equipment for the region’s mission-critical communications professionals.
 
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