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After all the Motorola deals, it’s interesting to see IDIS acting in reverse

After all the Motorola deals, it’s interesting to see IDIS acting in reverse
Throughout the past few years we've heard about Motorola Solutions video surveillance companies. The IDIS-KT Powertel deal is a reverse to that. In this note, IDIS CEO Y. D. Kim tells about the rationale behind the acquisition and how it can benefit both companies.
Throughout the past few years we've heard about Motorola Solutions acquiring Avigilon, Indigovision and Pelco to include video surveillance in its portfolio. The IDIS-KT Powertel deal is a reverse – a video surveillance company buying a radio equipment/solutions provider to widen its communications offerings. In this note, IDIS CEO Y. D. Kim tells about the rationale behind the acquisition and how it can benefit both companies.
The deal, to be completed in March, entails IDIS acquiring a controlling stake (44.84 percent) in KT Powertel, the radio communications subsidiary of Korean telecom operator KT Corp. KT Powertel specializes in radio equipment as well as the push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) technology, which IDIS says aligns well with its video surveillance business.

Push-to-talk over cellular

PoC expands the push-to-talk technology from conventional two-way radio to LTE and Wi-Fi networks that are more ubiquitous and accessible to the mobile device. With PoC, users can engage in one-to-one and one-to-many communications over LTE and Wi-Fi networks via any device, be it a smartphone, a specialized push-to-talk device or a computer.
“This offers a compelling alternative to traditional two-way radios, being more cost-effective than installing land mobile systems or relying on expensive radio frequency licenses,” said Y. D. Kim, CEO of IDIS. “Users will benefit from major productivity and innovation gains from improved communications and collaboration across their entire organizations. Control room efficiencies will be achieved with better utilization of staff for day-to-day operations, for example with tools for scheduling and tracking security officer and mobile patrols or pinpointing the location of a threat or incident which will enable first responders to be dispatched more effectively to ensure better outcomes.”

Video-PoC integration

Yet the real power of PoC is when it’s integrated with video surveillance, for which IDIS is already known globally. “The future aim will be to bring these applications together with our video surveillance and analytics capabilities into a single, unified platform. This will give security and safety managers enhanced command and control over large and dispersed facilities and public spaces, enabling them to initiate faster and more accurate responses, driving efficiency in every-day operations and improving preparedness for full-scale emergencies,” Kim said, noting that the benefits of video-PoC integration will be obvious in vertical markets that IDIS already has a strong presence in.
“We already see obvious applications in critical infrastructure, healthcare, large hospitality venues and hotels, manufacturing, and retail malls and in markets where IDIS already has a proven track record. For instance, in the fast-growth logistics sector IDIS already delivers solutions for customers globally and is a world leader in mobile, ruggedized transportation network video solutions. PoC will enable us to offer those customers dispatch and fleet management solutions that enable tracking of drivers and travel routes with time stamped audit trails together with recorded video footage,” Kim said.

Future expansion efforts

The combined companies will eye the Korea market first before moving on to other parts of the globe. “The obvious and most immediate fit for IDIS is in the domestic market, where we have significant advantages, including: the strong existing customer bases of both companies; excellent 4G and 5G LTE network coverage; and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi in buildings, public spaces, and across South Korea’s transportation networks,” Kim said. “In the medium term we will expand sales into adjacent South East Asian countries and then phase sales into our target markets in EMEA and the United States.”
According to Kim, demand for video and data integration and the rise of the mobile workforce give the company hope their solution will be a hit in overseas market. “There is already a growing global demand in the security market for wide area coverage and low-cost bandwidth to allow both voice, data, and video communications, as well as integration with control room dispatch applications.  The PoC market is also driven by increasingly mobile workforces and the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). We expect to see the market grow at around 10 percent CAGR up to 2026, with North American growth in particular accelerating the next two years.”


After seeing Motorola buying video surveillance companies, it’s refreshing to see IDIS acquiring KT Powertel, a communications solutions provider. Indeed, with mobile workforces on the rise (especially in the wake of the pandemic), the increasing popularity of PoC and the benefits of its integration with video, the acquisition seems to be a good investment for IDIS. How the deal will play out, and whether this video-communications integration trend will continue in the industry is something that’s interesting to observe down the road.

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