The global software defined radio market size was estimated at USD 20.4 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 8.7% over the forecast period. Increase in defense expenditure to improve defense communication systems is a major factor driving the demand for software defined radio systems. In addition, the market for global software defined radio (SDR) has witnessed considerable growth owing to the increasing need for communication devices to be more flexible and software configurable. Moreover, SDR is widely adopted in space communication as improves the performance of the satellite and can operate across several frequency bands in a precise manner.
SDR enables users to receive signals from multiple mobile standards such as WiMAX and GSM. To fulfill the growing demand for higher data speed that require additional hardware expenses on core network, mobile operators are adopting SDRs.Software defined radio systems help improve connectivity solutions by eliminating hardware constraints. Moreover, SDR and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are expected to play a major role in the integration of different communication technologies. The 5G radio access is based on SDR/NFV infrastructure, which is another factor driving the market for software defined radio systems.
The increasing penetration of IoT and wireless devices positively impact the market for software defined radio. In 2017, there were around 30 commercial deployments of NB-IoT and LTE-M in 20 countries, including the U.S., China, and across Europe. The GSM Association estimates that till 2025, the number of IoT-connected devices would reach 3.1 billion globally, amounting to 12.0% of the total IoT connections globally. In addition, the growing popularity of wireless sensor networks is anticipated to drive the demand for SDRs.
Increase in spectrum range for wireless communications is a major trend observed in recent years. The inception of 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) under the telecommunications organizational partnership calls for rapid deployment of LTE and LTE-Advanced commercial wireless technology, subsequently driving the demand for SDRs. While LTE technology is currently used between 450 MHz to 3.8 GHz, it is expected to cross 5 GHz in the near future. Moreover, software defined radio is used in applications such as radio frequency spectrum analyzers and global positioning systems.
Advancements in cellular infrastructure technology have undergone developments such as changes in RF amplifier technology. For instance, smartphone designs have potential for the implementation of technologies such as surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW). The pricing factor for these has also relatively narrowed due to low power filter requirements and confined fractional bandwidth. A disadvantage of using software defined radio technology is the development of a software defined radio with hardware and software platform, which is expensive. The conversion of analog to digital may also limit the top frequencies present in the digital section.
Based on type, the JTRS segment dominated the market for software defined radio in 2019. The technology is widely adopted in the defense sector since it comprises multi-mode/multi-band pre-emptive radio sets that enable simultaneous voice and data communication capacities to the warfighter. Based on Software Communications Architecture 4.0 (SCA), an open systems architecture forms an essential component of JTRS. The U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Tactical Radio System (JTSR) program also drives the growth of the JTRS segment.
Terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) is an open digital private mobile radio standard in the international market. It contains high functionality for emergency services and is suitable for commercial trunked radio users. TETRA specifies certain interfaces such as air interface, terminal equipment, direct mode operation, and inter-system interface to function effectively in the multivendor market. TETRA is the largest land mobile radio standard that provides good spectrum efficiency and critical communication features such as short call set-up time, security, high-speed data services, and voice calls feature set on direct mode and site trunking.
Based on component, the hardware segment dominated the market for software defined radio in 2019 owing to the rising popularity of portable SDRs. The hardware segment is driven by the combination of analog and digital technology on a single chip, which is a major factor contributing to the reduction in weight and size. In addition, the growing popularity of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) with integrated analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs) drives the segment growth.
The software component segment is expected to witness significant growth owing to increasing use in commercial applications. The software in SDR is used to define its specifications and functions. Software provides better flexibility for network load balancing and eliminating capacity bottlenecks for packet-switched core backhaul. Algorithms within SDR are downloadable and adaptable in the entire lifespan of the software defined radio. This enables the software defined radio to maintain flexibility and is ideal for commercial and defense applications. Its implementation in applications such as global positioning system, text messaging, remote radio monitoring, accessing voice, and data information is a major factor driving the software segment.
High frequency SDR systems are used for tactical communication with the help of IP systems. IP systems provide benefits such as reduced transaction costs and enhanced end-user experience, subsequently driving the demand for next-generation IP systems with integrated software defined radio system. Various SDR manufacturers, such as BAE Systems, Codan Communications, and Collins Aerospace Systems, focus on improving the performance of high-frequency SDR. For instance, in September 2016, Codan Communications launched Sentry-H, a high-frequency radio equipped with GPS, 3G Automatic Link Establishment (ALE), and USD connectivity. The system also features a smart handset and a simplified, intuitive menu system facilitating multiple language options.
Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands are used for commercial applications such as cellular systems and 5G networks. Owing to the need for wide area coverage, UHF SDRs are used to provide uninterrupted services to customers. Moreover, factors such as increasing number of smartphones and frequent use of internet for IoT applications are driving the segment growth. The segment is expected to hold the largest market share by 2027.
Ground-based SDR systems dominated the market for software defined radio in 2019 as they find a wide range of applications for tactical military communication in space and military sectors. In satellite communications, software defined radio exponentially simplifies ground station designs and improves the sensitivity of the ground station. An increase in the number of space projects in the communication sector and the growing implementation of SDR technology play a critical role in the new space communications architecture. In addition, the implementation of advanced phased array integrated with SDR system is expected to drive the ground-based software defined radio segment over the forecast period.
Airborne SDR is a high-rate data communication system, which is widely used for military and civil applications. Various companies such as Collins Aerospace and L3 Harris Technologies are integrating SDR technology solutions with existing airborne applications, making them cost-effective, secure, and mission critical. Moreover, SDRs incorporate a wideband networked waveform, which is suitable for secure airborne communications. The ability to provide mobile networked-connectivity across battlespace/warships with an accurate signal is expected to drive the airborne software defined radio segment over the forecast period.
Based on end use, the SDR market has been segmented into aerospace and defense, telecommunication, public safety, commercial, and others. SDR is widely used in the defense sector owing to greater functional scope. The device offers high adaptability, interoperability, precision, clarity, and high speed. Falcon, a leading player, enables a wider deployment of SDR devices backed with SCA 4.0 for the defense sector. In recent years, countries are focusing on increasing expenditure on defense, which further drives the segment growth.
The commercial segment is estimated to register the highest growth rate over the forecast period owing to the rising adoption of SDR across industries such as automotive and transportation. Another driver is the growing demand for car radios that support traditional analog systems and digital systems. SDR makes car radios compatible with different digital radio broadcast standards such as Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), and HD Radio in India, U.K., and the U.S., respectively.
North America dominated the software defined radio market in 2019, mainly owing to the Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) program, which provides technical support for wireless communication systems to the U.S. Department of Defense. Software defined radio systems are widely used in the defense sector owing to research programs and integration of all communication systems in the state and federal agencies in North America. In addition, increasing funds by the U.S. government for developing next-generation radio communication systems that are capable of accommodating X-band frequencies drive the demand for software defined radio systems.
The Asia Pacific market for software defined radio systems is projected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period owing to the rise in terrorism in Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In response, intelligence and military organizations in the region are increasingly deploying SDR to enhance communication systems enabling secure collaboration, improved information sharing, and shared situational analysis. For instance, in December 2018, the People’s Liberation Army of China awarded a contract to Elbit Systems Ltd. for providing CNR-710MB airborne radios. Furthermore, the need for enhanced communication by law enforcement during times of natural calamities drives the demand for software defined radio systems. Moreover, government funding for R&D for SDR in countries such as China and Australia is expected to drive the demand for software defined radio systems in the Asia Pacific.
Key market players include Collins Aerospace Systems; Harris Corporation; Elbit Systems Ltd.; L3 Technologies, Inc.; BAE Systems; Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.; Datasoft Corporation; Raytheon Company; and Northrop Grumman Corporation. Mergers, acquisitions, product launches, and collaborations are some strategies adopted by key players for business expansion. Moreover, space research organizations such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) focus on the development of radiation hardened electronic components that can withstand high radiations, which are used for space signal transmission in software defined radio systems. For instance, NASA, in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), developed a radiation hardened general purpose processor for SDR in December 2016.
In April 2019, L3 Technologies, Inc. merged with Harris Corporation to create L3 Harris Technologies, Inc., a global defense technology company for emphasizing on developing mission critical solutions. Moreover, in April 2019, BAE Systems launched its SDR assembly for space applications that caters to the requirement of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and MEA
U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Australia, India, China, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2020 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global software defined radio market report on the basis of type, component, frequency band, platform, end use, and region:
Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
General Purpose Radio
Joint Tactical Radio System
Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Frequency Band Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Platform Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
End-Use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Aerospace & Defense
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
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In order to ensure business continuity amidst the COVID-19 crisis, business organizations, especially in highly affected countries are allowing their employees to work from home. The increase in people working from home has led to a surge in demand for online video viewing, downloading, and communication through video conferencing, all of which are leading to increased network traffic and data usage. COVID-19 shall accelerate the demand for agile and flexible work styles and further push the adoption of communication services that tend to improve work-life balance. On the flip side, telecom regulators worldwide have postponed their plans of 5G spectrum auction amidst the global pandemic. This is expected to have an impact on the commercialization of commercial 5G standalone deployments and revenue generated through 5G services. The ongoing pandemic has forced telecom operators worldwide to test their network resiliency and revisit their planned investments, especially in 5G technology. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.