Header - hero image Bittium in 2023
Bittium in 2023

Defense & Security Business Segment

Tactical and Secure Communication Systems

In the Defense & Security business segment, Bittium offers globally leading products, services, and systems 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 and performance of its 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 device-based solutions, 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 or mobile device 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 Windows version of the SafeMove Mobile VPN product is approved for national security class TL IV data encryption.

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 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 defense forces’ troops, or for example, weapon systems and unmanned vehicle platforms due to its mobility, low latency, and high data transfer capacity features.

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 2 as well as Bittium Tough VoIP Service and Bittium Tough VoIP Softphone software products.

Bittium Tough Comnode™ is a versatile device, which 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 which 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 application designed especially for computer users. It can be used for VoIP calls, instant messaging, and conference calls in the Bittium Tough VoIP Service network.

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 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 2023

The world’s political situation changed significantly in February 2022 as Russia attacked Ukraine. The outbreak of war caused several countries to increase their defense budgets, which has had an increasing effect on the demand for defense sector products and services. The interest in modernizing the states’ tactical communication systems to meet the needs of modern warfare has also grown.

Interest in Bittium’s tactical communication solutions has remained on a high level, and the ongoing international customer pilots have progressed well. Bittium is involved in several tenders regarding tactical communication products and systems, which may take several years, depending on the scope of each project. The feedback on Bittium’s products in the field tests has been positive, and we expect the results of the ongoing tenders during the current year.

Close cooperation with the Finnish Defense Forces continued. Bittium’s tactical backbone network and the related products and radios are used by all defense branches of the Defense Forces, supporting the modern way of fighting, where the mobility and management of the forces on the move and effective communication are essential. In 2023, product delivery volumes remained low compared to the corresponding time of the previous year caused by the slow progress in several customer projects during last year. This is typical in multi-year customer projects, where the annual delivery quantities vary between the different phases of the project.

On November 14, 2023, Bittium and Finnish Defense Forces signed a new framework agreement for the purchase of products intended for tactical communication. The contract concerns the purchase of Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network™ (TAC WIN) software radio system products and Bittium Tough Comnode™ communication equipment and related accessories during the years 2023–2028. The Framework Agreement has a maximum value of EUR 51.6 million, and based on the Agreement, the Finnish Defence Forces will issue separate purchase orders in several batches during the validity period of the Agreement. The first order based on this Framework Agreement was placed on December 21, 2023, with a value of EUR 3.7 million. The delivery of the ordered products started in 2023.

The deployment of Bittium Tough SDR™ software-defined radios has progressed according to the plans of the Defence Forces, with the aim of ensuring the performance of the equipment during 2024 to start a wider deployment of the radios. The waveform development of the radios and the development of new functionalities for the customer continued as planned.

In December, the Finnish Defense Forces ordered development work from Bittium for a new software-based router intended for tactical communication. The software router enables the formation of even larger network entities for the tactical communication needs of the mobile forces. The value of the order was approximately EUR 4.4 million and the development work will be carried out during the years 2024 and 2025.

In Austria, the deployment of Bittium’s tactical communication systems by the local army continued and the delivery of system products and the integration and testing of products and systems continued.

The discussions about cooperation with international companies developing air defense and sensor systems progressed.

In November, NATO approved the ESSOR High Data Rate Waveform, developed by the a4ESSOR consortium, as a standard for tactical communication interoperability (STANAG 5651). Bittium has been one of the partners of the industrial a4ESSOR consortium since its foundation. With the ratification of the standard, the waveform will be available to all NATO member countries, thus enabling faster and more secure data transfer in both national and coalition forces’ operations. Bittium provides the waveform to its customers together with Bittium Tough SDR™ product family radios.

With Finland’s NATO membership, interest in Bittium’s products has increased, and the membership is expected to strengthen the company’s competitive position, especially in tenders for NATO countries. The membership also enables Bittium to implement NATO waveforms and encryption solutions, if necessary, and offers the opportunity to participate in the research programs of NATO countries.

Bittium has applied for a NATO information security listing for its secure Bittium Tough Mobile™ 2 C solution. The solution meets the criteria required for information security listing, but the listing is delayed due to the work backlog of the authorities updating the listing. Bittium has currently no information on the progress of the list update. Entering the list of NATO-approved devices is expected to have a positive effect on the sales of the solution.

Interest in secure Bittium Tough Mobile™ mobile phones and information security-related software has increased due to numerous data security attacks. The sales volume of the devices increased during 2023. Phones, their background systems and software were delivered to several European countries for authorities’ usage. The Bittium Tough Mobile™ 2 Tactical solution developed for military use has also aroused interest among the defense administration authorities of different countries, and several system pilots started during 2023.

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 for other Bittium’s 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 NATO membership is expected to have a positive effect on the demand for Bittium’s defense and official products, especially among NATO member countries.

Bittium continues its efforts to export tactical communications’ products to international markets and aims to get new international customers during 2024. The long sales cycles of the defense industry affect sales development and forecasting.

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 smartphone and other customized special terminals based on Bittium’s own product platform, as well as for secure software solutions. The awareness of mobile security risks is growing, and the interest in secure mobile devices and software solution is increasing. The sales of secure terminal products are expected to develop moderately according to the nature of public safety markets.