Icom History

The beginning of Icom

Mr. Inoue, founder and Chairman of Icom, became interested in radio when he was junior high school student, and often visited radio shops in Koriyama, Nara prefecture. He had been kept and grown up interesting for the 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. 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 for one way. The president of the manufacturer advised to Mr. Inoue to establish a subcontract 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

Years 1964 - 1977, Established Company and Brand Name

Moved to a new headquarters building (1970)

Inoue Electric Seisakusho started as subcontracted works and producing amateur radio equipment. The company was a late comer for amateur radio manufacturing; therefore, it was necessary to create something new. The company adopted transistors, instead of tubes, in designing the FDAM-1 all Transistors AM radio.  It was pioneer for replacing vacuum tube with transistor. 

Inoue Electric Seisakusho adopted new technologies constantly after that. Designing an Analog PLL circuit was one of big changes, which ended a generation of multi-crystal frequency-controlled radios. They designed HF radio, the IC-701 (Japanese model of the IC-710) which included digital PLL synthesizer. Mr. Inoue brought it then visited Mr. Arthur Collins who was one of most famous radio engineers in the world. 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 engineering. His words gave Mr. Inoue additional confidence to continue developing Icom’s amateur radio business.


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

Corporate symbol mark introduced


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.



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.


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.


HF desktop transmitter/receiver

IC-700T/IC-700R (1967)
The first amateur HF radio for Icom. Transistors were used in all stages, except for the final stage. Icom became famous for radios using semiconductors.


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.


50 MHz FM/AM/CW desktop

IC-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.


144 MHz FM mobile

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


VHF convenience mobile radio

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


144 MHz FM mobile

IC-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.


VHF marine fixed mount

IC-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.


144 MHz SSB/CW/FM desktop

IC-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.


HF all band desktop

IC-710 (1977)
The industry’s first HF LSI radio that employed the SC-3062 LSI, and the smallest HF radio at that time. Transistors were used in all stages, including the final stage.

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 thumbhole 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 was really grew in the radio manufacture industry.

In these years, the company name was changed to Icom Incorporated, from Inoue Electric Seisakusho.


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 



144 MHz FM mobile

IC-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.


50 MHz all mode desktop

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


HF all band desktop

IC-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.


144 MHz FM handheld

IC-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.


HF all band desktop

IC-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.


144 MHz FM handheld

IC-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 first price was JPY 6900 which exceeded JPY 410 from the public offering price. Two days before the listing, Mr. Inoue informs to employee, “I feel a debt of gratitude to all my employees for listing, as we started as a garage manufacture.”

Icom started a new category of Marine Navigation and challenged the use of new technologies onto 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.


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 by 953.5 million JPY
Listed Osaka Stock Exchange 2nd section
Increased capital by 7 billion JPY
1992 Tokyo sales office merged with the R&D section



144/430 MHz FM mobile

IC-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.


Avionics VHF handheld radio

IC-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.


1200 MHz all mode desktop

IC-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.


Land mobile VHF handheld

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


144 MHz all mode desktop

IC-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

IC-μ2A/E, IC-μ4A/E (1987)
Provided long lasting battery life with an auto power save function, and worked with R6 (AA) type battery cells.


Marine radar

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


28 MHz/VHF/UHF FM mobile

IC-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 interface.


HF+50 MHz all mode desktop

IC-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.


Low-power license free 9 channel handheld

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


Low-power license free 9 channel handheld

IC-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.


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.



144/430 MHz all mode desktop

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


HF/50/144 MHz all mode mobile

IC-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.


HF all mode desktop

IC-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.


Digital MCA mobile radio

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


MCA handheld radio

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


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.


Land mobile VHF FM handheld

IC-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.


144/430 MHz FM mobile

IC-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.


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.


HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

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

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.


2014 Purecom Co. Ltd. Established in Shenzhen, China
2016 IC-A220 obtains FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved TSO (Technical Standard Order)
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

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|7851 (2014)
Icom’s “Dream Rig” introduced RMDR specifications unmatched at the time, as well as an ultra-high-speed dual scope for contesters and DXers.

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|7300 (2016)
Amateur Radio’s first self-contained RF Direct Sampling transceiver, with a high speed, real-time spectrum scope with waterfall. The IC-7300 completely turning the HF world upside down and over 100,000 units sold globally.

LTE transceiver

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

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

HF/50 MHz all mode desktop

|7610 (2017)
Combining features from Icom’s “Dream Rigs” and the newly introduced RF Direct Sampling, the IC-7610 introduced a RF Direct Sampling system with Icom’s Digi-Sel preselector for 110 dB RMDR performance for both of the independent receivers. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

Industry first! 

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

|905 (2023)
 Amateur Radio’s only commercially available radio that covers 144/430 (440)/ 1200/2400/5600 MHz and 10GHz bands.  Icom’s industry leading design places the RF Deck as the base of the antennas, maximizing the RF power at the antenna.