I’m not writing this because I’m a DMR user (in fact I use C4FM & DMR for digital ham ops), but my speculation of it inevitably being the UK/EU digital voice winning system is mostly because it has cost and availability in it’s favour, add in the relatively low startup cost (important if you’re stocking up a multiple units for loan radios for group use) per set and some remarkably cheap (by UK radio standards) lowest Tier commercial licenses for non Tier 1 446 restricted operation.
Add into the equation that where there will eventually be DMR tier 1 equipment (digital PMR446 equiv to 446 Tier 1 analogue) that’s affordable and probably superceded analogue 446, and the fact there’s no legal restrictions to prevent Tier 2 users having communication with Tier 1 level analogue/digital users within a multi-config radio setup, it all kind of makes a lot of sense.
From a ham radio point of view, where we are permitted to use DMR Tier 2 spec commercial gear on 2m/70cms and utilise Tier 2 benefits such as gateways and repeaters along with regular analogue FM for (typically) local simplex and repeater ops on 2 & 70, it all just works.
Of course there are other digital systems, but when you factor in that almost uniquely DMR is about the only one where you can hold dual setups and have both a commercial zones setup (for work and non-ham group ops) coexist with zones you’d use containing channelised ham radio operation presets and (on the more premium gear) have multiples of ID’s stored (essentially necessary for dual diverse setups coexisting) and provided your DMR commercial gear is totally factory spec hardware wise (unmodified electronically speaking), it’s still TA compliant (necessary for non-ham usage) if it had a genuine TA certification to start with.
I can’t say I know of any C4FM and DSTAR ham market specific gear which can jump through that number of hoops and be legally dual usage given you have your ham license and commercial license coverage for each use respectively.
Of course, time has a funny way of changing the play field and new ‘teams’ and contenders may appear and compete, but whilst the only other dual use potential (legally operable) contender are a few Chinese DPMR sets (and it’s still questionable if the firmware mods are TA breakers where the TA was genuine), but quite frankly, why would you want to adopt a crippled commercial origin setup to reuse for ham ops when you can more readily buy and set up far less crippled and easily reprogrammed equipment cheaper typically?
Probably, outside of ham use, the nearest best options may be the Motorola 446 units which also are LPD mode devices (LPD radio uses some shared UHF frequency usage within what we use as 70cms in the ham world). Those can be legally (if you’ve the right commercial license) opened to 16 channel PMR446+the LPD mode presets use.
But what does those dual (446/LPD) units no favours for uptake is the fact they are relative expensive here in the UK being high end branded stuff (Motorola usually) where you’re paying more akin to old school PMR disproportionate pricing for very crippled kit - but in fairness, those same ‘Tier1’ (for everyman leisure usage) mode and LPD mode items are built for rugged usage and like anything with certified rugged/resistance design that’s legit, there’s a price premium.
Of course, time will tell but if DMR kit is cheap enough (talking legit certified kit specially) to have taken off in the Ham world, it’s definitely got credentials to be the short range focused simplex replacement for 27mhz CB and quality of equipment wise, makes 27mhz kit look like the junk quality it always was but more so.
■■■■, even your cheapest ‘rugged’ PMR446 analogue sets make CB look like cheap and nasty junk (as were most, a few high end stuff not strictly UK legal aside and the better export market sets).
Need it be a better indication of my thoughts on the matter, that I’ve bought a quantity of legit TA DMR units for non-ham group use and will definitely be purchasing a Tier 2 commercial license to cover their non-ham use when we’re beyond co-vid ■■■■?
And no, they definitely weren’t Baofeng DM-Xs I bought up. I got a really good deal on MD5 Alinco items.