Hytera introduces covert digital mobile radio
LAS VEGAS — Hytera is unveiling this week at IWCE 2011 several new products, including a covert digital mobile radio that is designed for security and surveillance operations. The trade show portion of the conference starts today.
The “slim, really small” covert radio is available in two versions, one for field operatives, the Hytera X1, and another for executives, the Hytera X1E, said Gary Lorenz, Hytera’s vice president of sales and marketing. Target markets include the law enforcement, hotel and hospitality, healthcare and retail sectors. It’s designed to fit in a shirt or coat pocket, and for that reason doesn’t come with a carrying case, Lorenz said.
“Two-way radios really have evolved — they’re not the bulky construction type of radio anymore,” he said. “These are really tiny radios.”
The main difference between the two radios is that the device designed for executives has channel and voice control knobs; those functions are controlled by a palm microphone for the field-operatives version.
The company also is introducing a new analog radio under the HYT brand that eventually will replace a legacy model, the TC 500, which has sold particularly well in the Latin America market, and in the U.S. as well, Lorenz said. The new handset, the TC 508, is targeted to the education and warehouse sectors and offers either 5 watts (VHF) or 4 watts (UHF) of output power, compared with the previous 3.5 watts, and a lithium ion battery that “lasts a few hours longer,” than the previous nickel-metal hydride battery, said Nick Bacigalupi, a marketing manager for the company.
“A lot of our dealers are still are selling quite a bit of analogs,” Bacigalupi said. “So we wanted to show then that we’re still committed to the HYT brand, even though we’re pushing the migration into digital.”
In other news, Hytera’s parent company, Hytera Communications, plans to go public in China in the second quarter, which is a “significant milestone,” according to Lorenz.
“This is a company on the come,” he said.
Nevertheless, Lorenz is fully aware of how cluttered the North American two-way radio market is, a market that still is dominated by two behemoths, Motorola and Harris.
“It’s a challenge, it’s not easy. You have to really be on your ‘A’ game, and you really have to look at innovation and product,” Lorenz said. “But I think we’re looking at some things that the bigger guys aren’t, such as margins, and we’re approaching this with a distribution strategy that is aimed at not being over-distributed. You have to have the right products, the right price and — ultimately — the right programs.”