Icom History

The beginning of Icom

Mr. Tokuzo Inoue, founder and Chairman of Icom, became interested in radio when he was a junior high school student, and often visited radio shops in Koriyama, Nara prefecture. As he grew up, he remained interested in wireless communications. He looks back on those days as “When I decided my lifework would be in wireless communications.”

After graduating from high school, he started a shop for electronic equipment at his parent’s house. But he soon joined a medical equipment manufacturer after that. At the manufacturer, his technical knowledge was highly valued, and he had responsibility for designing RF medical equipment. However, it was so far from his house to the office, taking 2 hours one way. The president of the manufacturer advised Mr. Inoue to establish a subcontracting company and continue designing for the medical manufacturer. Mr. Inoue made a small shack in the yard, then started the business as “Inoue Electric Seisakusho” in 1954.

This is the beginning of ICOM.

Icom Timeline & Products for Ages

Years 1964 - 1977, Established Company and Brand Name

Moved to a new headquarters building (1970)

Inoue Electric Seisakusho started as a subcontractor producing amateur radio equipment. The company was a late comer in amateur radio manufacturing; therefore, it was necessary to create something new. The company adopted transistors, instead of tubes, in designing the FDAM-1 all transistor AM radio.  It was a pioneering product for replacing vacuum tubes with transistors. 
Inoue Electric Seisakusho adopted new technologies constantly after that. Designing an analog PLL circuit was one of the big changes, which ended a generation of multi-crystal frequency-controlled radios. Icom designed the HF radio, IC-701 (Japanese model of the IC-710) which included a digital PLL synthesizer. When Mr. Inoue visited Mr. Arthur Collins who was one of most famous radio engineers in the world, and showed it to him. When Mr. Inoue presented the IC-701, Mr. Collins said “Mr. Inoue, you did everything I wanted.” Then he advised Mr. Inoue that the company will grow if you continue developing advanced technology. His words gave Mr. Inoue additional confidence to continue developing Icom’s amateur radio business.
 

Timeline
 

1964 Inoue Electric Seisakusho Co., Ltd. established by Tokuzo Inoue
1970 Moved to a new headquarters building
Opened Tokyo sales office
1971

Corporate symbol mark introduced

1973

Corporate logo mark introduced

Export Sales department established
1975 Opened Kyusyu sales office
1976 Entered the marine radio market
Icom (Europe) GmbH, established in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Product

FDAM-1

50 MHz AM portable

FDAM-1 (1964)
The first model designed and built by Inoue Electric Seisakusho. It was our legendary all-transistor 50 MHz radio, in which vacuum tubes were not used at all. It made Icom history.

FDFM-25

50 MHz FM mobile

FDFM-25 (1965)
The controller could be mounted on the car dashboard, and the radio unit could be installed in the trunk. It was the forerunner of in-vehicle radios.

IC-700T/IC-700R

HF desktop transmitter/receiver

|700T・|700R (1967)
The first amateur HF radio for Icom. Transistors are used in all ciurcits except a final amplifier circuit. Icom became famous for radios using semiconductors.

FDAM-3

50 MHz FM/AM portable

FDAM-3 (1968)
It was a revolutionary 50 MHz radio using high stability dual VFOs (Variable Frequency Oscillators). One each was used for the transmitter and receiver units, which challenged the mainstream crystal control radio.

IC-71

50 MHz FM/AM/CW desktop

|71 (1969)
A single high stability VFO (Variable Frequency Oscillator) controlled both transmitter and receiver units. The IC-71 was the first 50 MHz radio that did not require frequency calibration.

IC-20

144 MHz FM mobile

|20 (1970)
The first 12 channel 144 MHz radio. Helical resonators were used in the receiver unit to reduce intermodulation distortion.

IC-105C

VHF convenience mobile radio

|105C (1972)
Introduced know-how cultivated in amateur radio. It became Icom’s first business radio for the Japanese market.

IC-200

144 MHz FM mobile

|200 (1972)
Used an analog type PLL (Phase Locked Loop) synthesizer and covered the 144 MHz band with 100 channels. The original idea and technology allowed us to differentiate our product from others.

IC-M25

VHF marine fixed mount

|M25 (1975)
The first marine radio. A programming method using a diode matrix was adopted, and up to 25 channels could be programmed. With this radio, crystals were no longer needed for expanding channels, and it drew attention in the US market.

IC-211

144 MHz SSB/CW/FM desktop

|211 (1976)
The first amateur radio to use a system control LSI (SC-3062). It was an Icom original CMOS LSI, which was the largest at that time, with a 6 x 6 mm, 6000-element configuration. This realized digital frequency control, and the dual VFO system.

IC-710

HF all band desktop

|710 (1977)
The industry’s first HF LSI radio that employed the SC-3062 LSI, and the smallest HF radio at that time. This is the first HF radio for Icom that transistors wre used in the final amplifier circuit.

Years 1978 - 1983, Entire Japan and Expand to Worldwide

Built the Kami factory (1978)

Inoue Electric Seisakusho built a sales network covering not only all of Japan, but also worldwide in the 1970s, and expanded business operations.
Capital was increased for facility investment and the product category was expanded from amateur radios to Business radios and Marine radios. The IC-2N (Japanese model of IC-2AT/IC-2E) amateur handheld VHF transceiver was launched in 1980. It was a small and high-performance radio, which had thumbwheel switches to set frequencies in the PLL IC. These functionalities were very well received. Over 2 million IC-2N series transceivers were sold throughout the world. Icom really grew in the radio manufacture industry.
In these years, the company name was changed to Icom Incorporated, from Inoue Electric Seisakusho.

Timeline
 

1978 The company name was changed to Icom Incorporated.
Kami factory established in Kami, Hirano, Osaka
1979 Icom America Inc. established in Bellevue, Washington, U.S.A.
1982 Icom (Australia) Pty. Established in Melbourne, Australia
Entered the land mobile radio market 

Product

IC-280

144 MHz FM mobile

|280 (1978)
The world's first amateur radio equipped with a microcomputer in its main unit. A front panel separate system established a new type of mobile radio.

IC-551

50 MHz all mode desktop

|551 (1979)
Had an auto watch function controlled by a built-in CPU. It had good sales as a 50MHz SSB base station radio.

IC-720

HF all band desktop

|720 (1980)
Built-in general coverage receiver from 1.8 MHz through 30 MHz. Since this IC-720, a built-in general coverage receiver became a de facto standard specification for HF radios.

IC-2A/AT/E

144 MHz FM handheld

|2A/AT/E (1980)
This model was a huge success, with over two million units sold all over the world. User friendly thumbwheel switches for frequency change, and a detachable battery pack were adopted.

IC-751

HF all band desktop

|751 (1983)
The DFM (Direct Feed Mixer) provided 105 dB of dynamic range. It had an 8-bit CPU, 32 memory channels and dual VFOs for cross band operation.

IC-02A/AT/E

144 MHz FM handheld

|02A/AT/E (1983)
The first handheld radio that adopted a power module, achieving the maximum output of 5W. In addition, it had an LCD display. The radio had a splash-proof construction. Was an evolution of the IC-2N (IC-2AT)

Years 1984 - 1993, Stock listing for additional expansion

Listed Osaka Stock Exchange 2nd section(1990)

Icom listed its stock on the second section of the Osaka securities exchange on December 19th, 1990. The opening price was JPY 6900 which exceeded JPY 410 from the public offering price. Two days before the listing, Mr. Inoue informed the employees, “I feel a debt of gratitude to all my employees for the listing, as we started as a garage manufacture.”
Icom started a new category of Marine Navigation and challenged the use of new technologies into current categories.  The IC-781 had gained prominence in these years. A 5-inch CRT in the center of the front panel became the Icom style, along with a spectrum scope and high-performance characteristics. This transceiver surprised amateur radio operators as a dream rig.

Timeline
 

1986 Hirano factory established in Hirano, Osaka (Transferred from the Kami factory)
1987 Tokyo R&D Center established

Revised the corporate logo mark to the current one.

Wakayama Icom Inc. (factory) established in Wakayama
1989 Entered the marine navigation market with radars and fish finders
1990 Increased capital to 953.5 million JPY
Listed Osaka Stock Exchange 2nd section
Increased capital to 7 billion JPY
1992 Tokyo sales office merged with the R&D section

Product

IC-3200A/E

144/430 MHz FM mobile

|3200A/E (1985)
The first dual band mobile radio covering 144/430 (440) MHz. The “dual band radio” became very popular after this model was introduced.

IC-A2

Avionics VHF handheld radio

|A2 (1985)
Icom’s first avionics radio. It had a 4.8 W output power (PEP). It evolved into the IC-A20, which can receive VOR navigation system signals.

IC-1271

1200 MHz all mode desktop

|1271 (1985)
World's first transceiver equipped with an ATV function. Adopted a specially designed power module SC-1040 to support continuous ATV transmission. It also had a large-capacity CPU and an external RAM unit.

IC-H16T

Land mobile VHF handheld

|H16T (1985)
Equipped with the 5-tone system used in Europe, and supported various other tone systems. Explosive sales were recorded.

IC-275A/E/H

144 MHz all mode desktop

|275A/E/H (1986)
Equipped with a newly developed DDS synthesizer. High-speed transmission / reception switching that supported PACKET, AMTOR, and other data communications was achieved.

IC-μ2A/E, IC-μ4A/E

IC-μ2: 144 MHz FM / IC-μ4: 430(440) MHz FM handheld

(1987年)

Provided long lasting battery life with an auto power save function, and worked with R6 (AA) type battery cells.

IC-3MR

Marine radar

|3MR (1988)
Icom’s first marine radar with a compact design and easy operation.

IC-900A/E

28 MHz/VHF/UHF FM mobile

|900A/E (1987)
Called the “super multi-bander system”, utilized an optical fiber cable in data transfer technology. The optical fiber cable was an industry’s first and ensured transmit and receive performance by preventing the influence of external noise and interference.

IC-781

HF+50 MHz all mode desktop

|781 (1988)
A dream rig providing a large 5-inch CRT display with a spectrum scope located in the center of the front panel. Icom’s legendary layout emerged from this model.

IC-4001

Low-power license free 9 channel handheld

|4001 (1991)
Japanese low-power license free radio that achieved a surprising palm-sized compactness and lightness that broke the conventional wisdom.

IC-4003

Low-power license free 9 channel handheld

|4003 (1992)
The first generation of the brand name "Withcall" of Icom’s low-power license free radios in Japanese market. A storage antenna type that improves portability. Equipped with a function to notify reception of a call by a ringer sound.

Years 1994 - 2003, Pursuit of new possibilities

Narayama R&D office established in Nara, Japan(1994)

Icom opens Narayama R & D center to strengthen middle and long-term engineering development capabilities. Dedicated to research and development on elemental technologies one step ahead of the engineering department. The first Digital amateur transceiver for D-STAR was designed in this R & D center.
In these years, Icom concluded a delivery contract with the US Department of Defense's Soldier Intercom for transceivers, becoming the first company of all the Japanese manufactures to do so. They made hard and strict tests, then selected Icom IC-F3S as the best performance radio. Icom had other contracts in public safety and utilities markets in other countries.
In addition, using RF technologies, Icom entered and expanded a new category of wireless LAN networks.

Timeline
 

1994 Narayama R & D center established in Nara, Japan
1995 Distribution center relocated to the Wakayama factory
1997 Icom Spain S.L. established in Barcelona, Spain
1998 Asia Icom established in Taipei, Taiwan
Contracted with the US Department of Defense for radios. 
Entered the wireless LAN market.
Acquired ISO 9001 certification.
1999 Icom Information Products Inc. established in Osaka, Japan.
2000 The headquarters relocated to the new building in Hirano, Osaka.
2001 Listed in the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchange 1st sections
2003 Acquired ISO 14001 certification.

Product

IC-821

144/430 MHz all mode desktop

|821 (1994)
It has dual band simultaneous reception as well as satellite communication capability. Incredible reception sensitivity of -19dBμ was achieved for SSB/CW.

IC-706

HF/50/144 MHz all mode mobile

|706 (1995)
The world’s smallest HF/50/144 MHz radio. It became a benchmark of the multiband radio and proved our advantage in wideband technology.

IC-775DXII

HF all mode desktop

|775DSP (1995)
The world's first circuit configuration using digital signal processor (DSP) featured noise reduction and auto notch, which allows signals to emerge from noise.

MCA7

Digital MCA mobile radio

MCA7 (1995)
Icom's first digital MCA (Multi-Channel Access; Japanese trunking system). Used a large display with excellent visibility.

MCA22

MCA handheld radio

MCA22 (1996)
Sophisticated design like a mobile phone at the time.

UX-117

Data transmission unit

UX-117 (1996)
Data transmission unit for a 2.4GHz spread spectrum system. Adopted a modulation method that was later used for wireless LANs.

IC-F3S

Land mobile VHF FM handheld

|F3S (1997)
Recognized for its reliability, robustness, and operability, and was officially adopted as the US Department of Defense's Soldier Intercom. Delivered 23,000 sets.

IC-2800A/E

144/430 MHz FM mobile

|2800A/E (1998)
The world's first amateur radio to use a 3-inch color TFT LCD display. Equipped with an external video input terminal, it could be used as a sub-monitor for car navigation system.

BR-200

Building to building WLAN

BR-200 (1998)
Icom's first wireless communication unit between buildings that wirelessly connects distant buildings. An innovative product that eliminates the cost of laying a dedicated wired line.

IC-756PRO

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|756PRO (1999)
Icom’s proprietary technology 32-bit floating point IF DSP radio. Eliminated the analog filter and put IF DSP in its place.

IC-UH35ACT

UHF Convenience radio handheld

|UH35ACT (2001)
Using knowledge obtained from Marine transceivers, Icom realized a robust waterproof radio with a JIS7 rating (same level as IPx7) in the Japanese market.

IC-7800

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|7800 (2003)
Included the best performance for each function, and Icom realized an IP3 of + 40 dBm using all technologies collected over many years. This was the flagship model for several years. 

AP-5100

Wireless Access point

AP-5100 (2003)
Dual bands wireless LAN (2 band simultaneously operation). Realized 5.4 Mbps (5.2 GHz / 2.4GHz) 

Years 2004 - 2013, Challenges to Growth

Kinokawa Plant of Wakayama Icom Inc. established in Wakayama, Japan.(2009)

During economic growth worldwide, Icom achieved is best sales record of 33.1 billion JPY during these years. However, the sub-prime housing loan problem, and Lehman Brothers bankruptcy that occurred in 2008, the world economy went into in a recession. Icom combined engineering and sales divisions that made good efficiency from planning to product launches to make it through that difficult situation.
Icom also entered the IP telephone business, which was expected to increase growth, and made partner contracts with major telephone carriers for delivering wireless routers and access points.
In addition, we started digital technology for business transceivers, and then made standardization of Land Mobile Radios for the US, Europe and Japan. This was when Icom announced IDAS (Icom Digital Advanced System) to the world. 

Timeline
 

2004 Concluded “Solution Creative Partner Program (SCP)” with NTT Docomo.
2006 Tokuzo Inoue assumed the position of Chairman
Tsutomu Fukui assumed the position of President
2007 Concluded a partnership agreement with KDDI.
2009 Kinokawa Plant of Wakayama Icom Inc. established in Wakayama, Japan.
2010 Acquired ISO27001 certification. 
2013 Made cooperation with Companies Ageet and NTT West Japan.

Product

ID-1

1200MHz FM DV DD Mobile

ID-1 (2004)
The first model made for the D-Star system, which was developed by JARL (Japan Amateur Radio League). Uses the same Internet protocol method for communicating over IP. A new generation of Amateur digital radio was started by this radio. 

SR-5200VoIP

Wireless broadband router

SR-5200VoIP (2004)
The first model of collaboration under the “Solution Creative Partner Program (SCP)” with NTT Docomo.
Wireless LAN broadband router to meet the 050 IP telephone service.

IC-7000

HF/50/144/430MHz all mode Mobile

|7000 (2005)
Successor to the long selling IC-706MKII. Adopts first in its class IF DSP, which gave it performance close to the high-class model IC-756PROIII

IC-VH35 series

Japanese Business transceiver

|VH35 series (2005)
Icom guaranteed one-year water-proof protection, a first for a Japanese radio manufacturer.
Models with this guarantee were the IC-VH35 series, the IC-UH401 and the IC-4800.
 

IC-R9500

Wideband receiver desktop

|R9500 (2006)
All technologies for wideband receivers and DSP were put into this receiver. It included record and other functions/abilities for high level frequency search and analysis.  Many government offices and Radio Regulatory Bureaus adopted this receiver. 

IC-D400

Digital low-power license free handheld

|D400 (2006)
New concept of a digital low-power radio system in combination with an IP network. Then wide area range could be obtained, even for a low-power license free radio.

IC-M33

VHF marine handheld

|M33/M34 (2006)
An industry first! A transceiver that floats in water. Fundamentally redesigned internal circuits, mechanical components and the battery. Icom realized the user’s desires for a floating radio.

IC-DU55C

DCR handheld

|DU55C (2008)
The first DCR digital radio designed as soon as the Japanese regulations were approved.

IC-F3161DT/DS・IC-F5061D・IC-FR5000

Land mobile transceivers
(handheld, mobile, and repeater)

|F3161DT/DS・|F5061D・|FR5000 (2008)
Launched IDAS (Icom Digital Advance System) transceiver adopting 6.25 kHz 4-level FSK using the FDMA method. Icom complied with the US FCC ultra-narrow bandwidth regulation. 

IC-M604

VHF marine mount type

|M603/M604 (2008)
Won the NMEA award for the best VHF marine radio. Icom has won multiple awards in various categories since 1984.

ID-31A/E

430MHz FM/DV handheld

ID-31A/E (2011)
Newly designed next generation D-Star handheld. It was first amateur radio equipped with the micro SD slot. This model accelerated the popularity and use of D-Star.

IP100H

IP transceiver

IP100H (2013)
Using wireless LAN as access points, full duplex communication was realized. Many industry users adopted this new concept transceiver.

Years 2014 to the future, Jump up for the next 50 years

Wakayama Icom Inc. Robot line (2019)

The RF direct sampling system is developed and adopted in the IC-7300. This was an industry first in amateur radio, and many users replaced or added this model to their shacks. The first high-speed, real-time spectrum scope and good phase noise characteristics set new standards.
In the business radio field, the IP501H LTE transceiver is launched to match the general requirements of IP usage.
For producing additional solutions, Icom collaborated with Iridium Communications, to produce a satellite PTT model which can communicate to and from any place in the world over the Iridium network.
In looking for production efficiency and stable quality, Icom investigated installing robot lines in our factory.

Timeline
 

2014 Purecom Co. Ltd. Established in Shenzhen, China.
2016 IC-A220 obtains FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved TSO (Technical Standard Orde)
2017 Masataka Harima assumed the position of President
Started AVL service cooperating with Navitime Japan
2018 Repair center completed at Kinokawa plant
Collaborated with Iridium Inc. for designing the Satellite PTT
2019 Robot line is installed at the Arida plant of Wakayama Icom Inc.
2020 Icom Asia Co., Ltd. Established in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Tokuzo Inoue assumed the position of Chairman and President
2021 Hiroshi Nakaoka assumed the position of President

2022

Transitioned to the Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange
2023 Icom acquired Software development company, Macrotechnos Co., Ltd. 
Icom Europe (Germany) relocated to its new European building in Frankfurt, Germany

Product

IC-7851

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|7851 (2014)
RMDR characteristics completely exceeds other models. Ultra-high-speed dual scope helpful for DX hunting. This is the flagship model of the Amateur Radio.

IC-7300

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|7300 (2016)
New technology of RF Direct Sampling is employed. For this method, high speed real-time Spectrum Scope is realized.

IP501H

LTE transceiver

IP501H (2015)
Covers entire the country through an LTE (4G) and 3G Network with multiple users in the call group instantaneously.

IC-A220TSO

VHF Avionics radio Panel mount

|A220TSO (2016)
TSO certified model, therefore it can be used as a primary VHF radio in general aviation (part 23) aircraft

IC-7610

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|7610 (2017)
Adopts the RF direct sampling system for 110 dB RMDR performance. Independent dual receivers for a real Dual-watch function, on different bands and in different modes. 

IC-F7010 / IC-F7510

P25 VHF radio (handheld/Mobile)

|F7010・|F7510 (2017)
Full functionality for US public safety models, such as P25 phase 2, color LCD, AES encryption, IP68 submersible and MIL standard 810G.  

IC-DPR7

Digital transceiver

|DPR7 (2018)
Japanese digital business radio “DPR” series transceiver.
800mW audio output, IP67 water/dust proof and MIL standard 810G with a strong construction.

VE-PG4

RoIP gateway

VE-PG4 (2018)
Communication expanding unit across systems and devices. Includes built-in RoIP, SIP gateway, IP router, IP PBX and IP communication controller functions, in one box. Allows connection to any system, such as NXDN digital transceivers, LTE radios, satellite PTT, external devices, and so on. 

IC-DRC1

Digital low-power community radio system

|DRC1 (2018)
Newly established Japanese standard “Digital low-power community radio system”.  Icom launched this terminal to meet the regulation issued for safety and security of municipal entities.

IC-SAT100

Satellite PTT

|SAT100 (2019)
Uses satellites for worldwide communication, therefore it can communicate even when all infrastructure is shut down. In addition, the IC-SAT100 can be used reliably in areas with no infrastructure, such as mountain areas and remote islands. 

IP200H

Mobile IP phone

IP200H (2020)
Mobile IP phone for Japanese domestic market that uses wireless LAN/LTE network. Making phone call and PTT call from anywhere within the public LTE or local wireless network. 

IP-730D・IP-740D

Hybrid IP transceivers

IP730D・IP740D (2020)
Dual mode “hybrid” radios that provide nationwide coverage over LTE networks and conventional VHF/UHF professional radio mode (IDAS™ digital/analog mode). Ensures both a wide coverage area and interoperability in an emergency.

IC-M94D/DE

VHF marine handheld

|M94D/DE (2020)
The integrated AIS receiver and Class-H DSC in one VHF marine handheld. Distress button on the back and other vessel's AIS information further ensures safety at sea.

WITHCALL BIZ

LTE transceiver system

 (2021)

A new genre of LTE transceiver system for the Japanese domestic market. It is compatible with Japanese license-free radio and PTT applications for smartphones. Connects anywhere in Japan and enables simultaneous communication without worrying about distance or interference.

IC-905

144, 430/440, 1200, 2400, 5600 MHz +10 GHz all mode transceiver

|905 (2023)
Industry First*1, Microwave Rig in the 144, 430/440, 1200, 2400, 5600 MHz and 10 GHz*2 bands. Activate SHF activities all over the world.

1 According to Icom research as of July 2023.

2 CX-10G is required for 10 GHz operation.

IP-M60

Hybrid IP transceiver (LTE+VHF marine)

IP-M60 (2024)
World's first* hybrid transceiver that adopts two communication systems: marine VHF and LTE. Seamlessly switch between maritime and land-based communications with the press of button.

According to Icom research as of February 2024.