DMR a mass adoption phase winner in digital voice radio
At Dayton this year, it was no surprise that digital technologies got a lot of attention, including HF software-defined radios (SDRs), Hams are excited about digital radio because it is something new to explore. As you can see below, it was standing room only at the DMR Forum at Dayton this year.
One of the reasons for this excitement is that they are software-based, and unlike hardware radios, SDRs (some are really HF radio servers) are easily upgraded, and manufacturers can add compelling new features as technology changes. That means that you get a new radio every year without needing XYL approvals!
If you follow technology (smartphones, laptops, the internet, whatever), you know that there are certain common phases that all technologies must pass through. These include the pioneer stage, the early adopter stage, and then “the chasm.” Once a technology adoption has survived these three stages, it then reaches the mass adoption phase, and it begins to grow very quickly. Competing technologies then need to adopt. If they don’t, they will eventually fall by the wayside.
There is no question that DMR technology (Digital voice Mobile Radio) for hams has jumped the chasm and is now into the mass adoption phase, and may soon enter the low-priced commoditization phase. Inexpensive, mass-produced Chinese DMR digital voice + FM portable radios were being sold inside the Hara arena for as low as $109 with a color display and free programming software. Remember that these are Part-90 type accepted, commercial-quality radios, not low end junk with dirty transmitters and low quality RX audio.