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Blog / The Internet of Things and Satellite Technology

The Internet of Things and Satellite Technology


The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay and it is changing the way we interact with devices traditionally known as "smart" and those that can now be labeled as such.  As a result, the IoT is morphing the way many companies do business.  Kai Hackbarth with ProSyst explains this phenomenon in his
 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay and it is changing the way we interact with devices traditionally known as “smart” and those that can now be labeled as such.  As a result, the IoT is morphing the way many companies do business.  Kai Hackbarth with ProSyst explains this phenomenon in his Bosh Connected World Blog:

“Traditional manufacturers are integrating their physical products with internet-based backend services, and internet companies are extending their offerings by integrating data from sensors and physical assets. New companies are entering the market with IoT offerings that combine physical products with internet-based services. Sensor-generated data and machine learning solutions enable new, data-driven business models”
Therefore, the basic requirements of IoT are connectivity anywhere at any time enabling a consistent flow of data. Can this be accomplished without Satellite technology?

Tamara McCleary1, International branding expert and Thulium CEO believes that mobile communications in general are becoming a standard for IoT communications and that mobile telecommunications companies aim to become a primary carrier of data, especially with 5G. McCleary also considers the satellite communications play in IoT:

“Initially the strongest play for satellite telecommunications companies is in providing data transmission solutions in areas terrestrial communications companies have weaknesses in coverage.  In the future however, it will become more and more critical to demonstrate how mobile satellite communications are a better choice over a wider footprint. Terrestrial companies will eventually make a legitimate play into areas satellite companies are better known for.

As a push back, satellite companies can press their advantage in information and cyber security.  Intrinsically, satellite networks are more secure than terrestrial networks.  As we see a continued growth in cyberattacks and hacking, satellite companies can press their demonstrated security benefits for higher margin secure data transmission services.”

While Wi-Fi deployments, Bluetooth and terrestrial GSM networks are able to support most applications, these network services still do not reach many areas where IoT projects are currently being deployed and they are more susceptible to interruptions that would not occur with satellite networks.

Robust Satellite Networks such as the Globalstar constellation, provides services that address important requirements:
  • Cost
  • Reliability
  • Integration
  • Coverage
McCleary also agreed that the commercial market is further along with harnessing the power of the IoT in day-to-day operations and this is an area where satellite communications already plays in.  According to McCleary, “Satellite communications are key to the IoRT, or Internet of Remote Things.  You see their use in embedded sensor and control networks in the shipping industry, as well as, oil and gas exploration and mining.”

I believe the IoT presents a unique opportunity for mobile telecommunications companies to partner with satellite communication providers to create a robust platform for the transmission and analysis of data enabling businesses and consumers to solve problems.
 
  1. https://blog.bosch-si.com/categories/internetofthings/2016/06/the-three-challenges-of-iot-solution-development/
  2. https://www.thuraya.com/content/can-internet-things-iot-survive-without-satellite
  3. Interview with Tamara McCleary, International branding expert and Thulium CEO