COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
Pandemics such as the current COVID-19 carry huge business risks as repressive measures stifle innovation, choke growth, erode profitability, and dry up financial reserves and cash flow. Among the many industries and markets reeling under this impact is Software Defined Radio (SDR). A revised outlook under the current scenario projects the global market size reach US$24. 8 billion by 2027. The corona virus pandemic will slowdown technology innovation, and consumer appetite for new technologies. Technology upgrade plans will either be shelved or delayed as companies go into survival mode cutting down all non-critical and CAPEX heavy investments. A fallen global economy with a -3% negative growth in GDP is not a conducive environment for innovation or business investments. As governments break the piggy bank fighting the pandemic and as federal deficits widen and fiscal coffers deplete, widespread reductions in public spending budgets will be inevitable. Defense budgets, for instance, will be slashed worldwide, impacting orders for SDRs in military communications. The recession will also impact opportunities in the industrial and commercial space. The commercial aviation industry is already on the brink of collapse as a result of the unprecedented prolonged transportation and travel restrictions. Opportunities in this sector in the coming months will quickly evaporate. With non-essential commercial and industrial operations shut down, radio communication systems for field workers will recede from importance in the near-term. Upgrade plans for traditional land mobile radio (LMR) systems will be delayed and shelved. Only communication applications in pandemic response plans will buck the decline as countries desperately plan for effective pandemic management.
Software Defined Radio (SDR) is defined as a radio where all physical layer functions are software defined. SDR operates on software-defined wireless communication protocols rather than hardwired implementations. This allows users to upgrade the air interface protocol, functionality and frequency band by simply downloading and updating the software instead of replacing the hardware. Being software-configurable, SDR software updates are implemented via modifiable firmware or software. SDRs are built upon processing technologies such as digital signal processors (DSP), field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), programmable System on Chip (SoC), general purpose processors (GPP), or any other programmable, application-specific processors. In SDR, though the hardware remains the same, software upgrades lends the radio compatible with different frequencies such as ultra-high frequency communicating with very high frequency, thus providing cross-functionality in radio communications. SDR technology offers software control of various modulation, capacity enhancement, and interference management techniques over different frequencies and ensures secure communications management. SDR helps in placing most of the complicated signal handling required in communications transmitters and receivers into the digital signal processing (DSP) format. A primary benefit of SDRs is cost effectiveness. Since traditional radios are hardware-based, production costs tend to be higher with high flexibility issues when support for multiple waveform standards was required. In contrast, software-defined radio is a comparatively inexpensive and more efficient technology solution, allowing multi-band, multi-functional, and multimode wireless devices, which can be optimized using software upgrades. Given the many advantages of SDRs, In the post COVID-19 period the market will regain lost ground and will find expanding applications in a range of industries such as aerospace, automotive, public safety, military, wireless LAN/WAN, homeland security, military & commercial satellites, telecommunications, transportation, short range communication, and cellular handsets and base stations.