Teltronic CEO Discusses Changes Following Acquisitions, Technology Road Map
Friday, March 15, 2019 | Comments

RadioResource International interviewed Teltronic CEO Juan Ferro for an update on the business following Hytera’s 2017 acquisition of Sepura, which came after Sepura purchased Teltronic in 2015.

Have things at Teltronic changed following the Sepura and Hytera acquisitions?
Teltronic has a long history in international markets and cultural differences have not been a problem for us. We are accustomed to working with multicultural teams, so the relationships with our colleagues in the United Kingdom and China have enriched us personally.

Concerning the latest acquisition by Hytera Communications, Teltronic has always maintained independent management that has established a relationship with Hytera. We have continued with our normal activities and making our own decisions in terms of portfolio, business development and project management. Therefore, our clients haven’t noticed significant changes because we maintain the same team and we offer the same solutions and service portfolio as before the merger.

Because of the sensitivity and reluctance of certain markets to products manufactured in China, Hytera is aware of the importance of having a strong and independent European branch. In this sense, Teltronic continues designing, developing and manufacturing the products that comprise our solutions at our headquarters in Zaragoza, Spain. We maintain an excellent reputation based on our technological independence — one of our identifying traits for more than four decades.

After the acquisitions, PowerTrunk continues as a Teltronic subsidiary. PowerTrunk supplies products and solutions to U.S. and Canadian customers, exclusively designed and manufactured in European locations, namely Zaragoza, and Cambridge, U.K., for Sepura’s range of TETRA subscribers.

Where are your growth areas, both geographically and by vertical market?
Because of our important cultural and linguistic links, Latin America, especially in Mexico and Brazil, has always been a market of great importance for Teltronic. In addition, and after some years of investment, we have reached a solid position in North America.

Regarding vertical markets, we are oriented toward transport solutions, and consequently, new and interesting projects for metros, buses and light trains have arisen in important areas such as New York City and New Jersey in the United States; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Istanbul, Turkey; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. However, we also maintain a strong portfolio of public-safety customers, who continue to perceive us as their trusted partner in critical communications, because they know that we offer the highest quality standards and guarantee compliance with the most demanding security requirements.

How do you view the short-term future for TETRA and narrowband systems?
TETRA is a mature technology, whose robustness and reliability has been proven in thousands of deployments all over the world, and precisely for this reason, a long journey is still ahead for it. Given the increasing demand of broadband services, Long Term Evolution (LTE) seems destined to be the technology of the future, but in the medium term, the hybrid TETRA-LTE solutions that we have begun to deploy are an interesting option They combine the best of both worlds and, above all, allow a smooth migration toward broadband systems.

How will Teltronic remain a top player as the industry moves slowly toward LTE and 5G?
Teltronic has spent years researching and working on broadband technologies, and we are convinced that once spectrum in different countries is cleared, LTE will be the reference standard for critical communications. Until then, Teltronic’s hybrid solutions are already demonstrating the important advantages that they provide in real-life scenarios. This experience, added to our critical communications expertise, gives us an advantage similar to when we bet on TETRA technology years ago.

In addition to TETRA and LTE infrastructures, Teltronic has also included mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT), mission-critical data (MCData) and mission-critical video (MCVideo) solutions in its portfolio, which add the critical mission layer natively offered with technologies such as TETRA to LTE systems. Because we are defenders of standards, monitoring the evolution of LTE to 5G or later versions is part of our daily work, and the strategy is to implement all those features that are applicable to critical users in our communications solutions.

What is on Teltronic’s technology road map?
We already have teams studying and working on the use of critical communications systems as a means to transmit the data generated by internet of things (IoT) applications. Where these infrastructures are deployed, critical communications systems provide full coverage, which makes them a perfect solution for the transmission of data for public safety, transport and utilities applications. We are also allocating resources to explore new services and multimedia applications for critical communications, and our road map includes continuing to expand our cybersecurity portfolio. Finally, our CeCoCo solution proves the importance that we give to solutions for large control centers, with increasing capabilities and with a clear future focus on the integration of IoT and artificial intelligence platforms.

How many Teltronic employees are there?
We have a workforce of 400 employees, more than half of who are engineers. We have the same departmental structure we have had for years, giving special relevance to our research and development (R&D) areas that develop and maintain our product portfolio. Project management is a key element of our systems business model, along with customer service in response to clear customer orientation. The acquisitions have brought only minor changes to facilitate communications and coordination within the group.

Can you discuss financials for 2018?
Yes, we have reached a 5.5 percent growth in 2018 revenues over 2017, and we start an exciting 2019 with another 18 percent growth in order intake. This is the result of hard work in all our territories and vertical markets, providing projects such as Gold Line Bangkok Metro, Thailand; Metro L4 Sao Paulo and Trensurb Porto Alegre in Brazil; Jakarta LRT, Indonesia for a light rail project; Santa Catarina, and Goais States Police, Brazil for public-safety regional TETRA networks; Edesur, Argentina for a utility turnkey project; Sydney Metro Southwest, Australia; and others.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Teltronic maintains the spirit with which it started its activity 44 years ago. Innovation, quality and technology customized solutions to the needs of the client are the values with which we have secured a place of reference in the critical communications sector, and we hope to continue for many years more.

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