Annual Report 2022
Bittium in 2022
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Defense & Security Business Unit

Tactical and Secure Communication Systems

In the Defense & Security product and service area, Bittium offers globally leading products and services for its customers in the defense, security, and public safety markets. Bittium´s competitiveness in these markets is based on trust and reliability, high-quality products, and services, as well as on advanced technology and security know-how developed within the company for more than 35 years.

Bittium Tough Mobile™ product family
At the core of the information security features of the Bittium Tough Mobile smartphones lies their multilayered security structure, which is based on a hardened Android™ operating system, unique hardware solutions, and the information security features, and software integrated into the source code. The phones are fully designed and manufactured in Finland and Bittium ensures supervised and secure manufacturing and supply of the smartphones to customers. Bittium Tough Mobile smartphones together with Bittium Secure Suite device management and encryption software product can be certified for secure use by different national government authorities. Bittium Tough Mobile 2 C smartphone together with Bittium Secure Suite back-end system form a smartphone-based communication solution that has been certified for CONFIDENTIAL security level (NCSA-FI). As the smartphones have been designed for use by authorities, they have a significantly longer availability and lifespan and better availability of security updates compared to conventional smartphones.

Bittium Tough Mobile™ 2 Tactical is a complete solution that enables soldier mobile communications. The solution is based on the secure and rugged Bittium Tough Mobile 2 smartphone that is connected with either Bittium Tough SDR Handheld radio or third-party tactical radios. The solution is compatible with different battle management systems, which enables real-time and efficient sharing of situational awareness in tactical networks.

Bittium Secure Suite™ is a device management and encryption software product that complements the Bittium Tough Mobile smartphone with a scalable set of new software services for remote management, remote attestation, and securing the network connections of the device. Bittium Tough Mobile smartphone and Bittium Secure Suite form a unique, complete, reliable system for processing and transferring sensitive and classified material and securing critical communication.

Bittium Secure Call™ is a communication application for public authorities and businesses with security for end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls, group calls, messages with attachments, group messaging, push-to-talk voice messages, and a message that is destroyed after a predetermined time. Authority-level security is achieved when Bittium Secure Call is used in conjunction with Bittium Tough Mobile smartphones and the Bittium Secure Suite background system.

Bittium SafeMove® Mobile VPN software enables the utilization of all IP-based applications and networks by securing the connections between the workstation and corporate services immediately from the startup of the phone. With Bittium SafeMove, for instance, home care workers are allowed to have full access to the same systems and applications they would have on a hospital desktop, enabling safe and real-time access to patient records. The new SafeMove Streams feature enables optimized, durable and secure connectivity, even when the network connections in use are unreliable and sensitive to interference.

Bittium SafeMove® Analytics is an advanced monitoring and reporting module that helps organizations to monitor network connectivity and performance to improve productivity and user experience. The analytics tool continuously gathers connectivity data such as connectivity status, speed, throughput and bytes transferred, network type and Wi-Fi network information. It is also easy to enhance the tool with positioning information if GPS data is available. In addition, the new security features enable immediate report of possible security deviations in the mobile phones used by the employees. This enables reacting to the cyber threats without any delay, for example, by disconnecting a device that reported the deviation from the company network for the time of clearance of the situation.

Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network™ (TAC WIN) is a Software-Defined Radio based wireless broadband network system intended for military and public safety use. With the system MANET (mobile ad hoc network), link and connection networks can be formed into one logical IP network quickly, no matter what the location is. Bittium TAC WIN is an excellent data transfer solution, for example, for weapon systems and unmanned vehicle platforms due to its mobility, low latency, and high data transfer capacity features.

The Bittium Tough SDR™ product family consists of Bittium Tough SDR Handheld, tactical radio for dismounted soldiers, and Bittium Tough SDR Vehicular, two-channel tactical radio for vehicle installations. The uniquely wide range of frequency bands of the radios improves combat survivability, and using several waveforms, even simultaneously, improves compatibility and enables operations on different levels and missions.

Bittium Tough VoIP™ product family´s products enable tactical IP calls and broadband data transfer even in demanding conditions. Products are easily integrated into existing IP infrastructure. The product family consists of a range of tactical IP-based communication products, including Bittium Tough Comnode device and Bittium Tough VoIP Field Phone as well as Bittium Tough VoIP Service and Bittium Tough VoIP Softphone software products.

Bittium Tough Comnode™ fulfills the data transfer needs of mobile troops by functioning, for example, as a VoIP phone, an IP router, and an SHDSL repeater. Additionally, the Comnode device also enables the use of legacy Combat Net Radios (CNR) as part of the IP-based tactical communications system (Radio over IP, RoIP).

Bittium Tough VoIP Field Phone™2 is a next-generation VoIP phone, which, thanks to its features, accessories, and powering options, is the optimal solution for battlefields, vehicles, and command posts. Together with the distributed and survivable Bittium Tough VoIP Service™, calls between the Field Phone 2 users are enabled regardless of where and how the users have been connected to the network.

Bittium Tough VoIP Service™ is a software product, which can be used to connect both fixed data network users and wireless tactical data network users to the same voice service network. It is a flexible and decentralized solution designed specifically for mobile troops. It can be installed on routing elements of the network, such as the Bittium TAC WIN Tactical Router, the Bittium Tough Comnode device, or the Bittium Tough SDR radios.

Bittium Tough VoIP Softphone™ is a VoIP software product designed especially for tactical use. It can be used for VoIP calls, instant messaging, conference calls, and screen sharing in the Bittium Tough VoIP Service network either with a PC or smartphone.

Bittium Tactical Power Pack™ is specifically designed for tactical data transfer as an accessory to the Bittium Tough SDR Handheld radio and the Bittium Tough Comnode device, for example, but can also be easily used with standard tablets and smartphones via USB. The Tactical Power Pack enables uninterrupted field operation for the devices.

Bittium Tactical LTE Access Point™ is a stand-alone LTE access solution that enables the creation of multiple parallel wireless LTE areas and seamless connection to an IP network. The Tactical LTE Access Point is fully compatible with the Bittium TAC WIN backbone network. With the solution, different troops can benefit from cost-effective and fast multimedia data transfer and VoIP services with both commercial smartphones and special terminals intended for government use.

Bittium Tactical Device Management™ is an advanced system that enables secure deployment and operative use for tactical communication devices. With the system, different defense forces can maintain sovereign, centralized, and efficient control over Bittium´s tactical devices. The system enables the preparation of the devices for operative use and management of the devices during operative use, including commissioning, software updates, and key management.

Bittium Tactical Network Management™ is an easy-to-use and visual system for managing Bittium´s tactical communication networks and network nodes, including Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network, Bittium Tough SDR, and Bittium Tough Comnode. Different defense forces can use the system´s tools for planning the locations of the networks and their nodes so that optimal network performance can be achieved. When the networks are in operative use, the system provides a real-time and reliable status view of network operation and node configurations. The data collected from the networks and nodes during operative use is recorded and can be easily analyzed. This enables optimizing the network performance for upcoming operations.

Year 2022

The world´s political situation changed significantly in February after Russia attacked Ukraine. The outbreak of war caused several countries to increase their defense budgets.

In the first phase, the increased defense funds have been allocated mainly to consumables, but the gradually increased budgets will also be allocated to the modernization and development projects of the defense forces of different countries, and new defense force modernization projects are starting in different parts of the world. Bittium is involved in several new tenders regarding the modernization of tactical communications in different countries. In accordance with the nature of the market, the bidding stages of these new projects are quite slow and can take several years.

Finland started the process of joining the military alliance NATO. A possible accession to NATO will strengthen Bittium´s market position, especially in tenders from NATO countries. Bittium´s tactical communication products have very high-quality technical solutions for use in NATO countries, and NATO countries have been potential customers of Bittium even without Finland joining NATO. In addition, joining would enable Bittium to implement NATO waveforms and encryption solutions, if necessary, and would offer the opportunity to participate in the research programs of NATO countries.

In the domestic defense market, field testing of Bittium Tough SDR™ radios and their waveforms, as well as preparations for the large-scale deployment of the radios, continued throughout the year 2022. Bittium received a continuation order for the development of the radios´ waveform. The project will be multi-year. In November, the Finnish Defence Forces ordered Bittium Tough SDR Handheld and Vehicular radios for around 4.3 million euros.

Deliveries of other tactical communication products to the Finnish Defense Forces were also continued. Bittium received orders in accordance with framework agreements for both Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network™ (TAC WIN) software radio system products and Bittium Tough Comnode™ devices. Some of the deliveries were made in 2022 and some will be made in 2023. Bittium also supplied the Finnish Defense Forces with system support for the TAC WIN and Tough VoIP systems and further developed the new software version of the TAC WIN system. This ongoing development effort continues to improve the performance of the TAC WIN system´s waveform and radio platform software based on observations made in field trials and training use, as well as waveform research conducted by Bittium.

The year 2022 was busy in the international defense and authority markets. Product deliveries, integration, and testing of tactical communication system products continued to customers in Austria and Estonia, as well as to other international customers. During the past year, a new promising market area has emerged: international companies developing air defense and sensor systems. In addition, several pilots of Tough SDR radios started in different parts of Europe and Asia.

The ESSOR collaboration with Bittium Tough SDR radios also continued with good results. The interoperability tests performed in the summer with the new ESSOR High Data Rate Waveform were successful. Bittium´s radios flexibly used Bittium´s own broadband and narrowband waveforms as well as the ESSOR waveform for tactical data transmission.

During the past year, Bittium expanded the tactical communication product range with the new Bittium Tough VoIP Field Phone™ 2. Field Phone 2 is a new-generation VoIP phone that enables reliable communication in demanding operating environments. Bittium Tough VoIP Field Phone 2 complements the existing Tough VoIP product family, meeting customers´ need for a new generation field phone.

The secure Bittium Tough Mobile™ smartphone product family was supplemented with the new Bittium Tough Mobile™ 2 Tactical solution, which was released in June and is aimed at the defense market. The comprehensive solution enables the soldier´s mobile communication to be connected to either the Bittium Tough SDR Handheld™ radio or third-party tactical radios. The solution is compatible with various battle management systems, which enables real-time and efficient sharing of situational awareness in tactical networks.

The demand for Bittium Tough Mobile 2 smartphones and related data security software in the official market has increased with the Russian war of aggression and numerous data security attacks. Deliveries of phones and their various variants to the domestic and international markets continued. At the end of the year, Bittium delivered Tough Mobile 2 smartphones to the Swedish company Tutus. The delivery was a continuation of the cooperation between the companies, which has developed a mobile solution with a high level of information security, which combines Bittium´s secure Bittium Tough Mobile 2 smartphone platform and the Tutus encryption solution approved by the Swedish government. Tutus has delivered this mobile solution, specially designed as a tool for critical communication and a mobile environment, to a major Swedish authority.

The features of the Tough Mobile 2 smartphone and related security software were further developed, and the company has applied for NATO security approval for its solution, which is expected to be received during 2023. The approval is believed to increase sales of the solution.

Market outlook

Defense and Public Safety Market

In the defense market´s tactical communications sector, the governments´ defense forces and other authorities need networks that troops, who are more and more constantly on the move, can use and transfer growing amounts of data securely. This creates demand for Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network™ (TAC WIN) broadband network, Bittium Tough SDR™ handheld and vehicular radios, and other Bittium IP-based (Internet Protocol) tactical communication solutions that fulfill the needs of data transfer of moving troops and individual soldiers.

Russia´s war of aggression against Ukraine has also increased the defense budgets of various countries and has had a favorable effect on demand in the defense market. In the first phase, the increased defense appropriations have been allocated mainly to consumables. In the future, the increased budgets will also be aimed at the modernization and development projects of the defense forces of different countries, which may have a positive effect on the demand for Bittium´s tactical communication solutions.

Finland´s possible NATO membership will have a positive effect on the demand for Bittium´s defense and official products.

Bittium continues its efforts to export tactical data transfer products to international markets and aims to get new international customers during 2023. The development of sales is moderate due to the long sales cycles of the defense industry.

The use of LTE technology, smartphones, and applications continue to increase in special verticals, such as public safety, creating demand for Bittium Tough Mobile™ secure LTE smartphone and other customized special terminals based on Bittium´s own product platform. The awareness of mobile security risks is growing, and the interest in secure mobile devices is increasing. The sales of secure terminal products are expected to develop moderately according to the nature of public safety markets.

The global component shortage affects the availability of various components used in products, which affects the company´s ability to deliver products to its customers on the agreed schedule. The component shortage is expected to ease in 2023.