Bittium aims at bringing its products to the global defense and other authority markets and continued its sales and marketing efforts and R&D investments into these markets.
Growing the company´s security knowhow
In January Bittium strengthened it competitiveness as a provider of secure communication solutions for defense, safety and other authorities markets by acquiring the SafeMove business from Birdstep Technology ASA, based in Norway. The acquired Birdstep Technology Oy provided its customers high quality information security solutions for mobile devices and portable computers. Bittium's product portfolio expanded from the existing information secure device solutions to include the encryption of data communications. SafeMove software can be utilized in several Bittium's products and product platforms, such as in BittiumTough Mobile secure smartphone and in Bittium's secure IoT solutions and engineering services as well as in defence products. The debt free cash purchase price was EUR 1.8 million. The acquisition had no significant impact on Bittium'sbalance sheet, net sales and financial position.
Bittium Tough Mobile
The development of the Bittium Tough Mobile, a high security level LTE smartphone, targeted mainly for the demanding authority use was finalized during the latter part of the year. The product deliveries started already at the end of the year mainly in a form of small trials to customers abroad. The authorities markets are slowly developing markets by their nature and the sales of Bittium Tough Mobile are expected to develop moderately along the market development pace.
At the end of the year Bittium launched BittiumSecure Suite™ device management and encryption software that complements Bittium Tough Mobile smartphone with new software and services. BittiumSecureSuite enables the most effective usage of the device's security features, secure remote management, remote attestation and securing the data network connections of the device. Bittium Tough Mobile smartphone together with Bittium Secure Suite form a unique, complete, reliable system for processing and transferring sensitive and classified material and securing critical communication.
In December the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority granted approval for the Mobile Security and Public Safety targeted Bittium Tough Mobile LTE smartphone and related device management and information security management system to process National classification level IV (ST IV, national restricted) material. Bittium'smobile solution is the first product to receive an official encryption productclassification in Finland, which can on top of creating and processing of classified information also transfer material between a smartphone and connected back-end solutions.
Products and services for the defense markets
Bittium continued its efforts in bringing its defense market targeted product portfolio to the international defense markets, and delivered the first small pilot delivery of its tactical wireless IP network system for a customer abroad during the third quarter. Bittium aims at other similar international openings during 2016 as well. The defense market sales cycles are long by its nature and winning significant deals take several years.
Also the deliveries of tactical communication products, systems and services to the Finnish Defence Forces continued during the year. The development of the tactical communication system Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network (TAC WIN) was continued during the fourth quarter and Bittium received from the Finnish Defence Forces a new order for system product deliveries for 2016. During the fourth quarter Bittium also received an order from the Finnish Defence Forces for further development of the TAC WIN waveform to enhance the system with additional features and optimized performance. The Finnish Defence Forces also ordered a productization of the European high data rate radio waveform developed in the ESSOR program by porting it to the Bittium TAC WIN system used by the Finnish Defence Forces.
The demand for Bittium´s R&D services for mobile infrastructure customers continued as stable during the year 2015. The demand was mainly driven by the use of LTE technology and the need to develop low power and micro base stations.
In April a subsidiary of Bittium Corporation and the Ministry of Mexican Communication and Transportation (Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes, SCT) had signed an agreement regarding the development of three types of Android-based L-band mobile devices for the SCT's MEXSAT program. The value of this development agreement was approximately USD 21.9 million (approximately EUR 19.5 million as per exchange rate of April 30, 2015). The development work was started during the second quarter 2015, which increased the net sales in the second quarter.
The development of these mobile devices started well. Due to the failed launch of customer´s first satellite, the overall project schedule is delayed from the original. However over half of the contract revenue is expected to materialize during 2016. During the rest of the year 2015, the development work continued as planned.
In the beginning of the year Bittium announced to have integrated an information security solution to its Bittium IoT Device Platform that enables secure connectivityfrom the IoT device to the customer's cloud services. The Bittium IoT Device Platform is a compact and powerful platform, which enables development of different kind of products that have wireless connectivity and various sensors for the Wearable, Healthcare, Machine-to-Machine communication and Industrial Internet markets. The integrated security software protects the IoT devices from network attacks and secures connections between the devices and services. The demand for Bittium´s IoT solutions and services continued stable during 2015.