Connectivity Solutions Business Unit
Bittium provides product development services in the areas of wireless communications, medical technologies, connected vehicles, and manufacturing. Outsourcing R&D either entirely or partly results in cost savings and enables the scaling of customers´ product development volumes according to their prevailing needs.
Bittium has long experience in wireless connectivity, information security, and different communications technologies such as 5G. The understanding of industry-specific requirements and strong competence in R&D services, wireless devices, digitalization, and information security, as well as the ISO 13485:2016 quality certificate for medical devices and equipment, enable Bittium to create solutions that bring clear added value to customers and partners. Bittium also conducts R&D in the technology areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Solutions.
During the past year, the net sales of R&D services remained at the same level as in the previous year. The market has recovered from the coronavirus pandemic and active sales and marketing have been done again. The most demand for R&D services was in the Industrial IoT, Telecom, and MedTech technology markets, where companies seek wireless connectivity for their products. Many customer projects were successfully completed, and new ones were started. The aim of the Connectivity Solutions business is to focus on growing the international customer base, especially in the Telecom, Industrial IoT, and MedTech market segments.
During the past year, Bittium introduced a new Cellular IoT solution to the market. It offers IoT devices direct connectivity to cloud services over mobile networks. The solution can be used to update the local connectivity of existing IoT devices to 4G/5G connectivity or to integrate 4G/5G connectivity into new IoT devices being developed. The solution is based on software modules, the reuse of which improves the competitiveness of Bittium´s design services, enabling the implementation of connectivity projects for the customer faster and more cost-effectively.
The availability of labor is still a challenge, and no change is expected. In particular, there are too few software experts compared to the demand, and the competition for employees has increased the mobility of the workforce. During the past year, the company has invested in building the employer image, which has contributed to the recruitment of new employees.
Telecommunication and Digitalization
In mobile telecommunications, the implementation of 5G is accelerating. Investments in developing new features continue, and the importance of software development in the 5G network development expands. This creates demand for Bittium´s R&D services. There is a wide range of frequencies allocated for the 5G technology, thus creating the need to develop multiple products to cover the market and creating demand for R&D services for the development of product variants. Different needs for satellite communication solutions increase the demand for Bittium´s product development know-how with the addition of new players to the traditional supplier network. The demand for Bittium´s R&D services is also increased by the need to develop new devices utilizing 5G technology.
As digitalization evolves, secure IoT (Internet of Things) has become a significant development area in almost every industry. The increasing need for companies to digitalize their operations, collect data wirelessly, and transfer it to the internet and cloud services generate a need for Bittium´s services and customized solutions. To this end, the market needs secure devices, for both demanding industrial and leisure applications, which collect information from the sensors used by the device and create a reliable wireless connection to the Internet and cloud services.
The deployment of 5G technology is expanding and the number of digitalized devices increases continuously. The devices will also feature new and more advanced features that will create demand for design services. Therefore, the integration of different systems and technologies plays an important role in enabling complete digitalization services. There are several learning systems and devices under development that use different kinds of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to ease and speed up the processing of large data amounts.
Technological development and new innovations enable the development of new devices and applications for monitoring health and well-being, which increases the demand for Bittium´s product development service expertise. Bittium´s experience in medical devices, sports applications, and wearable devices, combined with wireless connectivity expertise, enables competitiveness also in providing design services for health, well-being, and sports equipment.
Labor competition for both equipment design and software experts is fierce, and it is expected to continue in the market in 2023 as well.