ARCIA update: LMR is not dead yet

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

By Hamish Duff, President
Friday, 08 March, 2024

ARCIA update: LMR is not dead yet

ARCIA received great feedback from our activities in 2023 and we hope to continue building on this for the year ahead, with not only networking events set for Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, but conferences in a few of these states, along with our networking dinners, ensuring there is variety and something for all of our members to participate in.

Make sure you check out for our plans as they currently sit, with more being added as we move through the year, and remember to make space in your calendar for what fits in with your plans and your team’s needs.

This year will see a continued focus on critical communications at our conferences (Perth on 14 March, Sydney on 30 May and Brisbane on 25 July) and how it’s applied by various market sectors. Be it mining, rail, public safety, transport or utilities, everyone is embracing new technology that makes sense, and ARCIA is actively involved in promoting both LMR and broadband technologies.

Our promotion of broadband technologies does not mean that LMR is losing appeal around the globe; it is more that the sector is evolving. While we have been told continuously over the last decade that 4G/5G-based technologies will replace LMR, this is not yet the case and is unlikely to be for some time to come.

With the recent major cellular outages in Australia and the USA, it’s worth remembering that in many circumstances, having dual connectivity options has major benefits. All technology is subject to failure, sometimes in a minor fashion and sometimes in a spectacular way that makes headlines. Nevertheless, planning for this has never been more important, and providing critical users with agile systems that can continue to perform, even with reduced features or capacity during major events, is easier than ever before.

There are clearly different factors to consider for industry sectors and user groups, but I think we can safely say that LMR is here for the foreseeable future as we continue to see major investments for private, public and indeed country-wide networks around the globe.

Since our last update the committee has held our annual planning day in Melbourne, at which we were lucky to have 18 attendees from around Australia, all contributing to the year ahead and how we seek to improve the benefits we offer members and partners alike. We are very fortunate to have so many committed people and businesses who give their time and money for this vital day and we are extremely grateful to them all.

On a personal note, and with it in mind that it is one of ARCIA’s missions to help promote Australian manufacturing, having recently had the opportunity to visit the GME factory in Western Sydney, it was terrific to see the pride and commitment from this local team of people in all that they do. Whilst there I considered the number of times a CB radio operates a PTT, or a marine beacon is used, and the impact this is has right around Australia; it was very impressive to see. Of course, GME makes many more products than these two, but they really are a great example of how it is possible to make local manufacturing work.

Finally, we must acknowledge the fantastic support that the association is receiving from all our partners, not only in helping the association’s general goals, but also in supporting all of our events in a big way.

Hamish Duff, President, Australian Radio Communications Industry Association.

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