The year 2019 represented an important year of growth to Bittium. Our strategy of investing in internationalization began to be seen in business. We started the deliveries of tactical communication system to the Austrian Defence Forces. Bittium´s tactical backbone network forms the core of the Austrian Defence Forces´ new tactical communication system. This was an important step in the internationalization of our tactical communications product portfolio targeted to the defense market.
In the field of medical technology products, growth in the international market was reflected in significant deliveries of remote cardiac monitoring devices to our customer Preventice in the United States. Together with Preventice we have developed a solution that enhances doctor and patient experience in remote cardiac monitoring.
In order to enable the growth, we continued significant investments in the development of our own products. This year we aim at decline in the level of the R&D investments relative to the net sales. The investments focused mainly on the development of the tactical communication system and its products targeted to the defense industry, and different authorities´ and special terminal products and their related security software, and medical technology products.
The development of the new Bittium Tough SDR soldier and vehicle radios has taken slightly longer than expected. Field tests of the products have been conducted during the last half of 2019, and we aim to start the actual product deliveries to the customers in the early 2020. The products have been designed to operate under extreme conditions. They have a very wide frequency range with unique interference tolerance and strong security.
In May we launched a new ultra secure Bittium Tough Mobile 2 smartphone. The core of the information security of the new Bittium Tough Mobile 2 is its multilayered security structure designed for customers with ultra security needs. The new phone will be positioned next to Bittium Tough Mobile 1, which has authority approval for handling and sending confidential information wirelessly.
The product deliveries started in the second half of the year. Modern smartphone design combined with world´s highest security attracted the market interest. Continuous cyber security attacks raise awareness of the importance of mobile security.
The delivery volumes of the satellite smartphone developed to the Mexican authorities fell short of last year´s target. We aim at volume deliveries during 2020.
The sale of the product development services decreased year-on-year affected by the company´s own significant large R&D projects that tie experts into internal product development. During 2020 we have developed our ways of working as well as our organization to become more self-directing, which is expected to bring better operational efficiency. We aim to grow the amount of product development projects and expand our customer base. The most significant market segments for Bittium´s product development services are industry, medical technology and car industry.
Our vision is to be a significant international provider of secure and safe communication and connectivity solutions especially in the defense and public safety markets, as well as a significant international provider of outside hospitals´ biosignal´s measuring and analytics solutions. First steps towards this vision have been taken, which creates a good foundation for the future growth. We will continue to invest in our strategy to enable the company to grow internationally, both in product development and in the development of our operations.
I would like to thank our customers and partners for the past year and their trust in our company. I would like to thank our personnel for the hard work and commitment to our mutual goals. I would also like to thank our owners for their perseverance and confidence. Together we can enable our future success.
Hannu Huttunen, CEO