"Five thousand systems in 50 years"

Teltronic CEO Juan Ferro discusses celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary at Critical Communications World, and how it will evolve from here

Teltronic CEO Juan Ferro

Could you give some information about the origin of the company and its development? How has the core offer evolved over the years to meet the changing expectations of the market?

Teltronic's history is that of a company founded by three radio and technology enthusiasts in a small workshop in Zaragoza, the Spanish city where our headquarters are located. From the beginning of its activity, one of the priorities was the mastery of technology, dedicating a remarkable effort to research and development, something that has been engraved in the corporate DNA.

Thus, what began almost as a hobby of three entrepreneurs who - faced with the difficulty of finding radios that met their needs - decided to create their own equipment, soon became a company with the capacity to develop its own models and meet and serve their first orders.

From this period are the first desktop, mobile and portable radios that gradually gained popularity among the various public safety and emergency services in Spain, both locally, regionally and nationally. This progressive implantation in the national market made the company grow, with more and more human and technical resources, and increased capabilities.

In the mid 90s, the company lived a key moment due to two circumstances. First, it was one of the first companies in the industry to bet on TETRA digital technology, becoming one of the pioneers in digital radio, and contributing decisively to its standardisation.

On the other hand, the company started its internalisation, first to Latin America due to the cultural and idiomatic links with Spain, and from there, all over the world. This is also the moment in which the company moved to its current facilities in an industrial area.

During this journey, Teltronic has strived to remain at the forefront of technology, from the first analog systems to digital technologies, and for some years now, exploring all the possibilities offered by broadband. I believe we were right in our bet for LTE and 5G, placing us in a good position for the future.

One of Teltronic's great virtues has been its ability to adapt to the environment and to anticipate the market. This is something that stems in part from intuition. At the same time, there is no doubt that the key aspects are the closeness we have always had with the end user, trying to understand their needs. We also have an extremely talented R&D team, that is always attentive to know where the trends are heading.

What have been the crucial moments for the company over the past 50 years?

50 years is a long time, and it is always abstract important moments. Apart from the moment already mentioned, when we made a strategic commitment to TETRA technology, I would highlight, for example, the opening of our first subsidiary, Teltronic Brazil, which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It was a milestone of great value, and marked the way for those that we established later in Colombia, Peru or Mexico, for example.

Another particularly noteworthy milestone was when Teltronic became the first company to deploy TETRA in the United States, through its subsidiary in North America. It was the result of a brilliant exercise of inventiveness and creativity that allowed that market to benefit from this technology, and that positioned us as a reliable provider in a market that we have never explored.

Since then, we have always considered our reference map as our best letter of introduction. Our technology has ensured security at major events such as the Olympic Games or the Football World Cup, we guide the buses in New York and subways in cities like Sydney or Montreal, and public safety agencies around the world communicate with our systems. In these 50 years we have deployed more than 5,000 systems, and that is something that makes us feel tremendously proud.

How are you marking the anniversary at Critical Communications World? Why is it an important show for the company?

CCW is just one of the many actions we will be doing during our anniversary. It is true that this event is special, and we did not want to miss the opportunity to get together with some customers and old friends who, year after year, we see in this event.

Critical Communications World continues to be the meeting point for the industry, and offers us an excellent opportunity to strengthen our network of contacts.

What are you hoping to achieve while here?

The event gives us an excellent opportunity to present our new products and latest developments to our customers and potential customers, as well as to some of the partners who travel to the event. As much as virtual meetings have become more popular after the pandemic, direct, first-person contact is still important. This is why we move operating demos around, because we like visitors to be able to experience the capabilities of our systems for themselves.

In addition, the Middle East is an area where we believe there are good opportunities, and where we think we can continue to grow, so the location of the event could not be more appropriate.

Can you discuss evolution going forward, five, ten or even 50 years into the future?

Teltronic's commitment is to continue fulfilling its obligations as it has been doing for the past 50 years, working with honesty and trying to facilitate our customers’ operations with the communication solutions that best meet their needs. This is the model that has worked for us and that sets the path for us to follow.

In addition, our main objective is to consolidate our broadband proposal in the market. Regulatory frameworks are changing and spectrum is finally available. This is happening at a time when our 4G and 5G solutions are already well assembled after years of work and research.

Thus, we will strive to ensure that our product portfolio remains in a position of technological leadership, with the momentum of our 4G and 5G solutions. In this sense, we continue to evolve our systems while exploring new applications and use cases as you can see at our booth.

In addition, our team is working on the integration of our networks with AI systems or big data applications. We are clear that broadband is already the present of critical communications. And just as almost 30 years ago we were able to lead the implementation of TETRA, we feel able to continue growing in this new scenario.