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New Rugged Handset Could Be A Game Changer For Siyata Mobile

·6 min read

First responders deserve better. Their traditional land mobile radio (LMR) setups are clunky, offer only low data speeds, and have limited coverage with dead zones that often slow down response times. Siyata Mobile (NASDAQ: SYTA/SYTAW), with its push-to-talk over cellular (PoC), is providing next-generation solutions. It’s a generational change, and it’s happening right now.

LMR in-vehicle and handheld and two-way radios connect on any one of nearly 10,000 different LMR networks in the U.S., most of which are not compatible with each other. In contrast, cellular networks connect through public phone companies, so they're all connected. By providing PoC, Siyata is leading the charge to modernize first responder communications.

They're not alone in the fight. After 9/11, the U.S. government recognized the need for a unified nationwide first-responder network and allocated $100 billion to create FirstNet, a broadband 4G LTE network in the U.S. that is operated by AT&T. (NYSE: T) The network recently reported that it currently provides 2.5 million connections (vs 2.2 million reported at the end of Q1 2021) to 17,000 public safety agencies (vs 16,000 reported at the end of Q1 2021), and Siyata is tapping into that network.

Addressing The Need For Better In-Vehicle Communications

So why are some public safety agencies still using decades-old LMR? Change is hard and takes time. Some agencies are budget conscious and can’t afford the upgrades. Siyata is working on awareness and affordable disruptive product lines, like the UV350, the Company’s flagship device and the only dedicated in-vehicle device on the market that has been certified as FirstNet Ready™. It’s the ultimate all-in-one communication device for the public sector and commercial vehicles.

The UV350 (pictured below) runs on the Android operating system and comes with noise cancellation, a WiFi hotspot, available accessories like a PTT (Push-To-Talk) palm mic, and 4G LTE high-speed data of up to 150 Mbps. It's received numerous government and industry certifications, including FCC, PTCRB, GMS, and IC. It also comes with a lower price tag than most traditional LMR devices.

Compared to phones with car kits, two-way radios, rugged tablets, and modems, the UV350 offers the following advantages:

  • Ability to support both cellular voice calls and PTT Calls

  • Loud and clear in-vehicle sound quality

  • Purpose-built for permanent installation inside a vehicle

  • Supports data and FirstNet downloadable apps

  • Nationwide coverage

  • Extended cellular option with Siyata’s optional cellular boosters

Siyata’s UV350, marketed as Uniden®, has received top grades in functionality, safety, and network coverage, all while reducing both capital expenditures and operating expenses for their customers. According to Mike Newburn, Wireless Manager for Fairfax County, Virginia, switching from LMR to PoC has saved its U.S. public safety agency $16 million in up-front costs and more than $2 million annually.

New Rugged Handset: SD7

First responders don't just need in-vehicle communication. Personnel on the ground must be able to connect with mobile units for backup and support. To that end, Siyata will be launching its newest rugged handset, the SD7 (pictured below), in North America later this year which has a form factor similar to an LMR two-way radio. Siyata has been designing and selling rugged handsets for years in international markets, but this will be its first model in North America.

According to the company’s press release: “The SD7 is an easy-to-use, PTT (Push-To-Talk)-only, ruggedized device with a limited interface (i.e. small 2-line monochrome screen, PTT key, SOS key, volume rockers) that is LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth-enabled and uses the Android operating system. Its IP67 rating, resistance to water and dust, drop protection, and robust battery makes it well suited for use in harsh environments. Using the SD7, primary first responders (police, fire, ambulance) – which number over two million in the U.S. alone, as well as secondary support personnel – can quickly connect and coordinate on unified public cellular networks in North America and other international markets.”

Importantly, this is also Siyata’s first MCPTT (Mission Critical Push-To-Talk) device. The company announced earlier this year that it was working with Softil’s BEEHD technology to develop this handset. MCPTT builds on PTT by providing interoperability among all users across networks, hardware, and applications. This is vital for public safety and it means Siyata can market this one MCPTT rugged handset globally.

Siyata’s rugged handsets, like Siyata’s in-vehicle units, are equipped with an Android operating system, PTT capabilities, and noise cancellation to provide clearer communications in noisy work environments. They also have a loudspeaker for when workers need to be hands-free and the SD7 is a 4G LTE smartphone.

When stacked up against comparable ruggedized models from Sonim, Samsung, Kyocera, and Caterpillar, Siyata’s smartphones are amongst the most competitively priced. The U.S. public sector market for these devices is estimated at 9 million units, with another 38 million units added including the private sector.

Cellular Boosters For Faster Wireless Communication

Speed and consistent connectivity are critical for first responders and private sector employees alike. In today's fast-paced world, slow connections and dropped calls come with a high cost. Siyata recognizes the importance of fast and reliable connectivity, so cellular boosters for in-vehicle or in-building use are part of its regular product line.

Combining a cellular booster with the UV350 is the ideal configuration for ambulances, fire and rescue vehicles, and law enforcement because it delivers improved cellular reception even in weak cellular areas with an Android device that supports loud and clear Push-to-Talk, plus any other downloadable app that is needed for their personnel. This configuration offers numerous advantages over existing LMR solutions currently in use in many of North America’s largest cities, so demand for the product is expected to be high. With over 20 million commercial and first responder vehicles in North America, per the U.S. Department of Transportation, this represents a multi-billion-dollar opportunity.

Siyata’s largest competitor in the cellular booster space is Wilson, with its weBoost line of boosters. Siyata’s boosters (also marketed as Uniden®) are differentiated from the competition for wireless carrier connectivity, smartphone selection, and RF passive bypass technology.

The RF bypass technology was created by ClearRF, a recent acquisition of Siyata that manufactures its devices in the U.S. in an ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) facility that is also AS9100D-certified to work with aviation, space, and defense companies.

Recent Financial Performance

Within North America alone, Siyata’s potential market for in-vehicle devices is $19 billion, which includes first responders, public sector employees, and commercial vehicles. The rugged handset market is estimated at $21 billion, and the global booster market is thought to be roughly $10 billion. Together, these applications amount to a $50 billion market opportunity, and Siyata appears well-positioned to generate revenue growth given its leading technology and unique device offerings.

By transitioning its product lines from 3G products to higher-margin 4G products and expanding its North American presence - revenue in North America rose to 66% in the trailing 12 month period ending 1Q21 vs. 34% during the same period last year, and Siyata has increased its profit margin to 43.2% in Q121 vs. 32.4% in Q120.

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