In May 2019, I wrote an article entitled "NXDN: What is it and where is it?". I predicted at the time that this other commercial digital voice mode would start to see some more growth within the amateur radio community and here we now are roughly 18 months later and my theory was correct.
As of December 27th 2020, there are now a global total of 3,657 registered NXDN users via the radioid.net website.
While this is a healthy 86.2% increase since 2016, the volume of users compared to DMR is still much smaller. The current number of global registered amateur DMR users is up to 182,082 for comparison.
These two points illustrate that amateur radio operators want another option over the closed source Yaesu Fusion and Icom D-Star options that were designed for amateur radio people who want to experiment with digital voice technology.
Why is NXDN growing?
If you have a digital hotspot like one of many Pi-Star based options or the Shark RF Open Spot series, chances are you have encountered the "mode translation" functions that allows a user of certain types of modes to talk to others with a different capability radio on the other end.
Technically speaking, the best digital voice mode is Yaesu's C4FM FDMA based Fusion if you want to transcode to other digital voice modes, but it offers no digital data capability like that of D-Star or DMR. DMR is the second most popular mode to transcode with, even though it also has the most users and repeaters globally. Here are the current transcoding options in Pi-Star.