Recently appointed Hytera Communications GM, Jiang Yelin, speaks about 5G, convergence, plans for 2021, and the importance of delivering customer-focused solutions
What has Hytera been up to in the global PMR market during 2020? Were there any key deployments – particularly in the European market - and what challenges in particular did COVID-19 pose?
Despite the problemscaused by the global COVID-19 public health crisis - and the US-China trade conflict - Hytera is still generating steady growth in terms of annual revenue, especially in European markets whereour focus is mainly on public safety users.
From a global perspective, DMR products only contribute single digit sales. We continue to innovate in theTETRA and PDT-standard radios, as well as broadband and narrowband convergence solutions, such as our Multi-mode Advanced Radios. We are also providingupdated PoC radios and body worn cameras for the public safety, and oil and gas markets inparticular. In recent years, Hytera has also been exploring a promising new sector, which involves cooperating with local network operators to deliver mission critical solutions.
One impact of COVID-19 has been that the majority of live events, conferences and exhibitions have been canceled or delayed. However, Hytera has responded to this setback by launching a wide rangeofdigital marketing campaigns. We have createdonline partner portals, EDMs, buyer guides, webinars, online training sessions and workshops for dealers and end users, to provide better access to information and to engage with us.
In addition to creating these new digital channels, Hytera has managed to develop, within a very short timeframe,a new solutionto help public safety, healthcare and commercial users,who are on the frontline of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution aims to combat the spread of COVID-19 by using fast-deployable, non-contact, body temperature detection and communication technology.
Regarding European market highlights, in 2020, the European PMR industry expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period. This was due to the shift from analog to digital technology, and the increasing deployment of TETRA technology due to its fast call set-up, group calls, and direct mode communication advantages.
Public safety remained the largest end user industry, due to the increasing adoption in police departments as well as by emergency responders, such as fire departments, healthcare, paramedics, and others. The demand for two-way radios in the commercial market also saw the highest growth over the period, due to the increasing demand from transportation, public utilities, construction, retail, private security, and others.
What are the main challenges you expect to see overthe next 12 months?
Given the ongoing impact of COVID-19and the likelihood that live events will remain on hold– at least in the early part of the year- Hytera will continueto focus on itsonline marketing campaigns and solutions. For example, the HyteraPartner Portal is a real asset, as it provides a one-stop platform for our dealers. They can log onto the portal and gain access to marketing, technical, purchasing and sales materials whenever they need it. The partner portal currently has hundreds of dealers on the platform across the EU region. Other digital services are also available on our subsidiaries’ websites.
2020 markedthe first year 5G became available for commercial use. With that in mind, in 2021, 5G will be more widely applied globally in vertical industries. Hytera will keep innovating and investing in 5G-related businesses, products and solutions. For example, Hytera‘s Industrial IoT smart factory solution will soon be upgraded.
How has Hytera seen the wireless communications market adapt and evolve globally during 2020? What will it look like in the coming few years?
5G has become one of the main focuses of technology in recent years, as it brings the opportunity for introducinghuge changes to different vertical industries. In fact, 5Gis considered to be an essential driving force for digitisation of the entire community.
With the advent of 5G, technologies such as AI and big data will be able to provide stronger network infrastructures and more powerful convergence platforms for public safety and other vertical industries.
At CCWeek 2020, Hytera talked about ‘2+5+N’, a hybrid and convergent way of meeting a variety of critical communications demands. What has Hytera done to benefit users?
Hytera believes that there is no single technology capable of fixing all problems - instead it will be ‘2+5+N’.
The ‘2’stands for 2G such as TETRA. As thefirst choice of mission critical users, TETRA/PDT/DMR provide stable and reliable voice services, which broadband networks cannot satisfy. But since TETRA/PDT/DMR technologies are developing more slowly than broadband, Hytera believes that by combining LTE/5G broadband technologies with TETRA/PDT/DMR, the needs of PMR users will be better served.
‘5’ stands for 5Gsupporting high throughput, low latency and massive connections. Conventional PMR networks incorporating 5G technology can strengthen indoor coverage and support some non-critical services, which can provide supplementary services to private networks.
Different industries require different data demands over 5G networks, and Hytera believes that there are three main modes for public safety users in relation to 5G technology.
The first mode is end-to-end network slicing based on 5G networks, which is suitable for general industry business. The second is to reserve wireless communications resources over 5G networks with physical-like security isolation and guaranteed capacity. This model is suitable for daily public safety services and certain critical communications situations.
The third mode involves the independent construction of private 5G networks. These are suitable for providing key area coverage and critical communications in certain situations.
‘N’stands for various applications based on different kinds of technologies, which providecomplete solutions for vertical industries.
Take Hytera’s public safety convergence communication solution, for example. This creates a converged and unified network, so end users can achieve full connections, seamless switching, and positioning services.
At the network level, including 5G and on-site emergency systems, the multi-network infrastructures can be seamlessly switched to quickly respond to the command and dispatch center when public safety incidents occur.
Convergence places the emphasis on the business application level, including the convergence of voice, video, data and positioning.
Unification refers to the ability of the solution to provide unified information, command, coordination, and combined operations.
In China, Hytera has recentlylaunched a self-developed 5G Core and 5G gNodeB. Together with network operators and partners, Hytera will get the best out of each technology and converge them into an interconnected network.
What are the company’s plans over the next year?
Hytera will be launching a broad, innovative,new portfolio of PoC radios, Multi-mode Advanced Radios and body worn cameras in the coming year. It will be focusing on global public safety, transportation, the oil and gas sector and solutions for many more.