If the business-industrial LMR licensing activity from the first half of the year is matched during the second half of the year, more than 11,000 applications could be granted this year in the sector, which would represent an increase of more about 7%--the first increases in business-industrial LMR licensing activity since 2012.

However, the business-industrial segment saw a noticeable decline in application activity during the second half of last year. In addition, even the most optimistic estimates from the first half of the year would have the LMR licensing levels to be on pace for their second-lowest annual total—exceeding only last year’s all-time low—since the ULS database came online in 2000.

A continuation of the first-half LMR licensing activity during the second half of the year would mean that the number of LMR applications granted by the FCC in 2018 would come close to matching last year’s licensing activity level. If that happens, it would be the first time since 2012 that the LMR licensing activity has not dropped significantly on a year-to-year basis.

While a dropoff in LMR licensing activity was expected after a large percentage of systems were altered to meet the FCC’s narrowbanding mandate that was due to be completed at the end of 2012, the decrease in LMR licensing activity has continued, with the number of applications falling by more than 38% between 2015 and 2017. Last year’s licensing activity figures represented double-digit percentage decreases when compared to previous all-time low figures that were registered in the aftermath of the global economic crisis a decade ago.