The agreement pairs the UK-based Inmarsat’s satellite network with Skylo’s IoT services for connecting machines and sensors. It will, they claim, provide “even the most remotely located application users with real-time, actionable insights”.
The companies say it will be the “world’s first commercial narrowband IoT over satellite solution”, connecting diverse machines and sensors in remote areas, at sea, or in dense metropolitan areas.
The Palo Alto-based Skylo cites users receiving continuous coverage to send and receive critical two-way messaging, alerts, and continuously transmit sensor data.
For example, this could include location data, soil moisture, soil pH and temperature levels. Or, in a maritime context, knowing in real time, the fuel levels in the tanks of a fleet, the location of the ships deployed, fishing zones and meteorological reports.
The system is first available now in India, through another partnership with in-country partner BSNL, an Indian government owned telecommunications service provider. Expansion plans will be announced “later this year”.
“The most effective IoT solutions require a truly resilient and flexible network that can scale as demand grows,” said Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat Chief Executive Officer.
“Inmarsat’s industry-leading L-band network provides a unique capability for enabling the billions of connected IoT devices in India and across the world that are being deployed at an extraordinary speed. We are delighted to work with Skylo to provide the IoT fabric that matches their ambition.”
Skylo aims to make reliable IoT connectivity available “at disruptively affordable rates”:
“Even more attractive than a sharp increase in adoption due to low barrier-to-entry, is deploying critical new business capabilities as machine data becomes readily available and accessible,” said said Skylo CEO and co-founder Parth Trivedi.
“Our global IoT connectivity fabric makes way for thousands of life-changing applications — from managing vaccine efficacy during delivery, to advancing precision farming, to providing early warnings in the event of natural disasters. We look forward to expanding globally and making our platform available to small and large enterprises, companies deploying new sensors, systems integrators, distributors, Governments and OEMs.”
The Skylo system, for real-time data transmission, uses the Skylo Hub (pictured above), which is a small, rugged terminal ‘hotspot’ that reads sensors and transmits data to the Skylo Satellite Network, for which Inmarsat’s L-band network will form the backbone.
The company writes:
“Skylo’s Hub is the equivalent of a cellular modem in size, convenience, ease of install, and affordability. We provide the ability to connect machines and sensors seamlessly using geo satellites 35,000 kilometers in space. Delivering a new kind of antenna that makes communications seamless, Skylo’s Hub can connect to 15 sensors through wire, WiFi, or BLE, (whether stationary or moving and in frigid temperatures or sweltering heat).”
It works with the Skylo Data Platform (right), on mobile or desktop, for users to take business-appropriate decisions or actions.