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The international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a 15-digit unique number related to a global system for mobile communication and universal mobile telecommunication system network for mobile users. An IMSI-catcher is a telephone tapping device which is used for controlling mobile phone traffic and to track location of mobile phone users. A fake mobile tower is generated between the mobile device and the cellular networks which is known as the ‘man in the middle (MITM) attack’. This technology works only on non-LTE network services where mutual authentication is not required between the phone and mobile tower network. In 3G/4G networks, mutual authentication is required from both, the handset and the network. Therefore, it becomes difficult to intercept the network and place the IMSI-catcher between the networks. However, to place an IMSI-catcher in 3G/4G networks, agencies or government firstly downgrade the 3G/4G and LTE to non-LTE network services which do not require mutual authentication. The use of an IMSI-catcher is illegal in most countries and only law enforcement agencies and government can use these, which is expected to increase its demand during the forecast period.

Factors driving growth of the global IMSI catcher market

The rising demand from intelligence and law enforcement agencies is the major factor that is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period. IMSI-catchers are deployed all over the nation for security. Law enforcement agencies use IMSI-catchers to find out criminal history and for investigation purposes. IMSI-catchers are used to track location via GPS and also to capture all data including cell (phone number, call durations, and caller identities etc.). With the help of an IMSI-catcher, law enforcement agencies can identify mobile traffic on the network and target traffic for interception and analysis. IMSI-catchers are used by governments and intelligence agencies, and strictly regulated in some countries due to privacy concerns related to use of these devices. For instance, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, in 2017, 72 law enforcement agencies in 24 states owned StingRay technology. StingRay is an IMSI-catcher manufactured by Harris Corporation and used by various law and state government agencies to track users’ information across U.S, Canada and U.K.

Moreover, increasing demand from police departments is also expected to drive the growth of the market during the forecast period. Many police departments use IMSI-catchers to keep an eye on suspicious activities. Rising incidence of criminal activities such as kidnapping, theft, terror-attacks is driving demand for IMSI-catchers among police departments. For instance, in March 2016, 30 people were killed in terror attacks at the departure hall of Brussels Zaventem International Airport and the Maelbeek metro station. Istanbul Ataturk Airport's parking as well as the entrance of international arrival terminal was also attacked by terrorists and 41 people were killed.

Regional analysis of global IMSI catcher market

On the basis of region, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa. Among regions, North America is expected to account for the largest market share during the forecast period due to presence of key players such as L3Harris Technologies, Inc. and Novoquad, Inc.  Most of the law enforcement agencies in various countries are using IMSI-catchers to safeguard nations security. For instance, in 2003, Harris Corporation launched Stingray, an IMSI-catcher, and then sold it to various government agencies in the U.S. Stingray catchers are also called cell site simulators and cell site emulators in some of the law enforcement agencies.

Key players in the global IMSI catcher market

Key players operating in the global IMSI catcher market include Proximus LLC, Comstrac Limited, 4Intelligence, Phantom Technologies LTD, KAVIT Electronics Industries LTD., PKI Electronic Intelligence GmbH., Red Eye International Ltd., Septier Communication Ltd., Helios Technologies and L3Harris Technologies, Inc., and Novoquad, Inc.

Segmentation of the global IMSI catcher market

Global IMSI catcher market is segmented on the basis of type, application, and region.

  • On the basis of type, the global IMSI catcher market is segmented into:
    • Handheld
    • Backpack
    • Vehicular
    • Others
  • On the basis of application, global IMSI catcher market is segmented into:
    • Intelligence Organization
    • Government Structure
    • Others
  • On the basis of region, global IMSI catcher market is segmented into:
    • North America
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific
    • Latin America
    • Middle East
    • Africa

Research Methodology

Coherent Market Insights followsa comprehensive research methodology focused on providing the most precise market analysis. The company leverages a data triangulation model which helps company to gauge the market dynamics and provide accurate estimates. Key components of the research methodologies followed for all our market reports include:

  • Primary Research (Trade Surveys and Experts Interviews)
  • Desk Research
  • Proprietor Data Analytics Model

In addition to this, Coherent Market Insights has access to a wide range of the regional and global reputed paid data bases, which helps the company to figure out the regional and global market trends and dynamics. The company analyses the industry from the 360 Degree Perspective i.e. from the Supply Side and Demand Side which enables us to provide granular details of the entire ecosystem for each study. Finally, a Top-Down approach and Bottom-Up approach is followed to arrive at ultimate research findings.

Data Triangulation Methodology | Coherent Market Insights

Coherent Market Insights desk research is based on a principle set of research techniques:

  • National level desk research: It Includes research analysis of regional players, regional regulatory bodies, regional trade associations, and regional organization.
  • Multinational level desk research: The research team keeps a track of multinational players, global regulatory bodies, global trade associations, and global organization.

Coherent Market Insights has a large amount of in-house repository of industry database. This is leveraged as a burner for initiating a new research study. Key secondary sources include:

  • Governmental bodies, National and international social welfare institutions, and organizations creating economic policies among others.
  • Trade association, National and international media and trade press.
  • Company Annual reports, SEC filings, Corporate Presentations, press release, news, and specification sheet of manufacturers, system integrators, brick and mortar - distributors and retailers, and third party online commerce players.
  • Scientific journals, and other technical magazines and whitepapers.

Market Analysis | Coherent Market Insights

Preliminary Data Mining

The raw data is obtained through the secondary findings, in house repositories, and trade surveys. It is then filtered to ensure that the relevant information including industry dynamics, trends, and outlook is retained for further research process.

Data Standardization

Holistic approach is used to ensure that the granular and uncommon parameters are taken into consideration to ensure accurate results. The information from the paid databases are further combined to the raw data in order to standardize it.

Coherent Statistical model

We arrive at our final research findings through simulation models. Coherent Data Analytics Model is a statistical tool that helps company to forecast market estimates. Few of the parameters considered as a part of the statistical model include:

  • Micro-economic indicators
  • Macro-economic indicators
  • Environmental indicators
  • Socio-political indicators
  • Technology indicators

Data Processing

Once the findings are derived from the statistical model, large volume of data is process to confirm accurate research results. Data analytics and processing tools are adopted to process large chunk of collected informative data. In case, a client customizes the study during the process, the research finding till then are benchmarked, and the process for new research requirement is initiated again.

Data Validation

This is the most crucial stage of the research process. Primary Interviews are conducted to validate the data and analysis. This helps in achieving the following purposes:

  • It provides first-hand information on the market dynamics, outlook, and growth parameters.
  • Industry experts validates the estimates which helps the company to cement the on-going research study.
  • Primary research includes online surveys, face-to face interviews, and telephonic interviews.

The primary research is conducted with the ecosystem players including, but not limited to:

  • Raw Material Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • System Integrators
  • Distributors
  • End-users