NATICK, MA The defined market for software-defined radio (SDR) is rapidly expanding. It should be noted, however, that this expansion is based largely on how the value propositions of certain SDR components or features resonate with each market segment. There are two distinct markets for SDR technology: military and commercial. The former is dominated by the United States' Joint Tactical Radio Service (JTRS) program while the latter is driven by the deployment of upgradeable wireless infrastructure. Within these market segments are a number of different perspectives on the values of SDR technology.

The military market--and in particular the US military- -is still very much an R&D market for SDR. It is likely to maintain that posture until 2010 or 2011. After the recent reorganization, the JTRS program focus now centers more on enhancing tactical capability and less on broad device interoperability. In contrast, the commercial sector has adopted SDR technology in many wirelessinfrastructure products. Recently, both the SDR Forum (www.sdrforum.org) and the IEEE (www.ieee.org) announced SDR. will formalize many products as being SDR, despite the fact that they were not previously given that label.

As the market learns more about SDR and the values of SDR components versus total SDR solutions, Venture Development Corp. forecasts that the overall market for SDR will grow at a 31-percent rate from $2.2 billion (USD) in 2006 to nearly $10 billion by 2011 (see figure). Growth will be driven by numerous factors within the original-equipment-manufacturer (OEM) community: ease of adapting or retrofitting products to new or evolving air interface standards; potential margin improvement for OEMs from developing a number of products on a common hardware delivery platform; and improvements in product-development cost and time to market. For more information, please visit www.vdc-corp.com.