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Software Defined Radio Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (General Purpose Radio, Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), Cognitive/Intelligent Radio, and Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA)), By Component (Hardware and Software), By Frequency Band (MF/HF, VHF, UHF, and Other Bands), By Platform (Airborne, Naval, Land, and Space), By Application (Military & Defense, and Commercial), and Regional Forecast, 2021 – 2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102524



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The global software defined radio market size was USD 12.45 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 11.60 billion in 2021 to USD 16.20 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.3% in the 2021-2028 period. North America dominated the global market with a share of 39.35% in 2020.


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Based on the analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 1.28% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unmatched and staggering, with the software-defined radios witnessing a medium impact on demand across all the regions amid the pandemic. 

An SDR is a collection of software and hardware technologies. Several radio operating functions are implemented through firmware or modifiable software operating across programmable processing technologies. SDRs consist of analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters, mixers, antennae, filters, digital signal processors, application-specific integrated circuits, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA), a general-purpose processor, and software. The increasing use of such technologies allows new wireless capabilities and features to be added to the existing radio system without requiring new hardware. In comparison, traditional hardware-based radio devices limit cross-functionality and can only be modified through physical intervention. Therefore, reducing overall system cost and improving system performance by providing an upgraded and reconfigurable platform boosts the demand for communication devices during the forecast period.


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Rising Demand for 5G, IoT, Cloud, and AI Technology Enabled SDR Systems is a Prominent Trend

Over the last few years, the adoption of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and artificial intelligence technology has increased worldwide. This increasing demand surged the development of modern communication systems such as cognitive/intelligent radio. SDR platforms can provide diverse functionalities and are configurable for multiple use cases. It makes software-based radios an ideal choice for a system where product size and weight are the main constraints.

  • For instance, in October 2020, General Dynamics Corporation introduced its novel URC-300 software-defined radio. The new radios are designed to be a versatile platform that provides support to multiple waveforms. It is mainly designed to be used for line-of-sight, ground-to-air, and other mission-critical applications.

In addition to this, the increased focus on development with a high probability of interception (POI) is increased. POI is when a signal must be present for there to be a probability of intercepting it and capturing it for analysis. This shortens the response timeline. Therefore, its demand has increased for applications such as autonomous vehicles and drones, 5G cellular technological solutions, aerospace, telecommunications systems, and military applications. This will boost the overall software-defined radio market growth during the forecast period.


Increasing Adoption of SDR for Military Application to Fuel Market Growth

The military authorities have increased their focus on the adoption of tactical communication applications. Software-defined radios are cost-effective communication solutions that offer improved flexibility for several communication standards. This radio system solution is expected to boost the capabilities of military communication and armed forces. Thus, the key manufacturers have increased their focus on VHF and UHF SDR development for military applications.

  • For instance, BAE System Plc has recently developed Fire Series, a software-defined radio that provides robust, resilient communications for critical military missions. This newly developed sdr can reduce the time to field, special mission modifications, evolving communication needs, and performance improvement through a software update. It also supports joint service interoperable voice and data standards for Line of Sight (LOS) and beyond LOS communications in a very high frequency (VHF)/ultra-high frequency (UHF) spectrum.

In addition to this, the rising spending by the military sector to procure modern communication solutions is predicted to boost the demand of the global market.

  • In February 2021, the Indian Army announced that it is focusing on revamping the military communication system by procuring VHF/UHF Manpack SDR under the Make-II class.

Rising Adoption of Modern Communication Systems over Conventional Systems to Aid Growth

In recent times, the demand for advanced communication systems has surged in the military and commercial sectors due to their improved and cost-efficient operation performance. The SDR offers various advantages over a traditional communication system. Such advantages include transmitting and receiving various modulation methods using a common set of hardware, enhancing or altering functionality through software up-gradation, simple architecture, and saving overall system cost by eliminating analog hardware. These advantages of software defined radio are expected to boost its demand for several commercial and law enforcement applications such as cell phones, Wi-Fi modules, fire protection services, ambulance services, train radios, and the police force. In addition to this, a significant development in the telecommunication industry/market is expected to support the market growth. These are the major factors driving the growth of the SDR market during forecast years.


Rising Concerns Related to Communication Security to Hamper Market Growth

In recent years, the adoption of SDRs has increased for various commercial and military communication applications. However, with a rise in adoption, the concern related to communication security also increases. The major part of its functionality is implemented through software in an embedded system or personal computer in the radio system. Therefore, there will always be a threat of software attacks. This factor is expected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. In addition to this, simple SDR tends to require higher power for a simple given operation. This factor restricts its use in ultra-lower power systems.


By Type Analysis

Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Segment to Grow at Faster Pace during 2021-2028

Based on the type, the market is divided into general-purpose radio, joint tactical radio system (JTRS), cognitive/intelligent radio, and terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA)

The joint tactical radio system segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is due to the growing replacement of conventional communication systems with a joint tactical radio system for naval, air, and armed forces military applications.

The terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) segment held the second-largest share in the base year due to its large adoption for transport service, military, government agencies, and emergency service applications.

The general-purpose radio type segment held a significant value share in 2020. This large share is attributed to the increased use of handheld general-purpose software-defined radio for short-distance two-way commercial communication applications.

The cognitive/intelligent radio segment is expected to showcase significant growth owing to its growing demand for 5G technology-enabled systems.

By Component Analysis

Rising Demand for SDR with Improved Flexibility to Boost Demand for Upgraded Software

Based on the components, the market is classified into hardware and software.

The software segment is predicted to showcase the highest growth rate during the forecast period. An increasing need to design software-based radio, that is compatible with various communication standards such as IEEE, ISO, IETF, ITU-T, and CODASYLi, drives the demand for upgraded software.

On the other hand, the hardware segment held the dominant share in the base year. This segment consists of general-purpose processors, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA), analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters, amplifiers, filters, mixers, and antenna. Therefore, the rising new installation of SDR for marine communication is expected to support the expansion of the hardware segment.

By Frequency Band Analysis

Ultra-High Frequency Band Segment to Grow at Faster Pace During Forecast Period

Based on frequency band, the market is classified into MF/HF (Medium/high frequency), VHF (very high frequency), UHF (ultra-high frequency), and other bands.

The medium/high frequency (MF/HF) segment registered the largest share in 2020. This dominance is due to the extensive use of radios with short-range for amplitude modulation, NFC/RFID, aviation radio, weather broadcast, amateur radio, and other commercial applications. Medium/high frequency (MF/HF) SDR comparatively has a lower cost than VHF and UHF frequency SDR, making it ideal for commercial applications.

  • For instance, in September 2019, Raytheon Technologies Corporation announced that it plans to develop HF radio under a USD 36.0 million project agreement. The new HF radio will be designed to provide long-distance, beyond-line-of-sight communications for aircrews.

The ultra-high frequency band segment is anticipated to grow faster during the forecast period due to the growing development in 5G technology and rising demand for higher communication security. 

By Platform Analysis

Land Platform Segment Dominated the Market in 2020

Based on the platform, the market is classified into airborne, naval, land, and space.

The land segment held a dominant share in 2020 due to the extensive adoption of radios in cellular base stations and military vehicles. The increasing spending on the procurement of modern military vehicles is anticipated to support the market growth during the forecast period.

The naval segment is anticipated to witness the highest growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increased focus on developing modern technological systems integrated maritime vessels to enhance naval force strength.

By Application Analysis

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Increased Military & Defense Expenditure in Developed and Developing Region to Boost Market Growth

Based on the application, the market is divided into commercial and military & defense.

The military segment registers the largest share in the base year. This dominance is due to the increased focus of defense authorities on improving military strength and military communication capability. Moreover, an increased defense budget of developed and developing regions in the military sector is expected to support the segment growth.

On the other hand, the commercial segment is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the surge in demand for software-defined radio in aviation and marine communication applications and telecommunication industry applications.


North America Software Defined Radio Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the world.

North America stood at USD 4.9 billion in 2020 and is expected to dominate the global market due to the fast-paced adoption of advanced technologies and large military spending. In addition to this, the presence of several SDR manufacturers in the U.S., such as L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, and others, are expected to support the market growth.

The market in Europe has registered the second-largest share in the base year due to increased investment by key players to design and develop innovative military communication systems. Also, the region has the presence of various key market players such as BAE Systems PLC, Thales Group S.A., Leonardo S.p.A., and others.

The market in Asia Pacific is experiencing fast-paced growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the rising development in the telecommunication sector and increasing military spending in countries such as China and India. Moreover, the market-supportive government space programs are expected to create lucrative market growth opportunities in APAC in the upcoming future.

  • For instance, in February 2021, Bharat Electronics Limited and India's Ministry of Defense signed a contract worth over USD 10 billion to procure a Software Defined Radio Tactical (SDR-Tac) system. This system was jointly designed by the Defense Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL) of the Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO).

The rest of the World is anticipated to experience sluggish growth in the market during the forecast period owing to the limited defense budget.


Rising Demand for Delivery Drones in Healthcare Sector amid COVID-19 To Boost Growth

The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market has been moderate. The market is witnessing a decrease in demand for software-based radio systems for commercial purposes due to disruption in the supply chain across the regions. In addition to this, an economic slowdown has created a moderate impact on the procurement of military electronic systems in several countries.

  • According to a released report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global military spending reached USD 1981 billion in 2020, increasing by 2.6% compared to 2019. Even though there has been growth in global military spending, several countries such as South Korea, Chile, Brazil, and Russia explicitly reallocated some part of military spending to the pandemic response.


BAE Systems PLC is a Leader in Offering Next Generation Software Defined Radios

BAE Systems PLC is a pioneer in designing and developing next-generation software that defines radios for commercial and military applications. High investments in research and development activities, constant innovation, and the adoption of advanced technologies will help the company sustain its market position.

The market competition has raised the standards for new entrants, thereby challenging the major players based on their solution’s technology and price. Thus, major players such as BAE Systems PLC are focused on strategic mergers & acquisitions, maintaining a long-term contract with the government to withstand their global market position.


  • BAE Systems PLC (The U.K.),

  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel),

  • Thales Group S.A. (France), 

  • L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • General Dynamics Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Viasat, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • Leonardo S.p.A. (Italy)

  • Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)


  • May 2021 – Raytheon Intelligence & Space business of Raytheon Technologies Corporation announced that it had received Type-1 certification of X-Net SDR system from the National Security Agency in support of the Department of Defense.

  • November 2020 Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that it had received a contract to deliver an E-LynXTM SDR solution to the combat battalion level of the Spanish Army.


An Infographic Representation of Software Defined Radios Market

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The software-defined radio market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as key service providers, types, and applications. Moreover, the report offers insights into the radio system’s market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


Type; Component; Frequency Band; Platform; Application, and Geography

By Type

  • General Purpose Radio         

  • Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS)      

  • Cognitive/Intelligent Radio 

  • Terrestrial Trunked Radio (Tetra)

By Component

  • Hardware

  • Software

By Frequency Band

  • MF/HF

  • VHF

  • UHF

  • Other Bands

By Platform

  • Airborne

  • Naval

  • Land

  • Space

By Application

  • Military & Defense

  • Commercial

By Geography


  • North America (By Type, Component, Frequency Band, Platform, Application, and Country)

    • The U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, Component, Frequency Band, Platform, Application, and Country)

    • The U.K. (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Russia (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia-Pacific (By Type, Component, Frequency Band, Platform, Application, and Country)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific (By Application)

  • Rest of the World (By Type, Component, Frequency Band, Platform, Application, and Country)

    • Latin America (By Application)

    • The Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 12.45 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 16.20 billion by 2028.

Registering a CAGR of 5.3%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The software segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market

BAE Systems PLC, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., and Leonardo S.p.A. are the leading players in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.

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