1. How and why are satellite services more attractive for M2M connectivity compared with five years ago?
There are a variety of factors helping drive adoption including, business operations requirements, including regulatory requirements; improvement in business operating efficiencies gained from deploying M2M; additional revenue streams enabled by adding M2M applications to a company’s portfolio; and cost reduction on both the hardware and networking components required to successfully deploy and M2M solution. Over the past 5 years the proven benefits of connected devices has driven new applications into almost every market segment. Remote monitoring and control has transitioned from a “nice to have” feature into a mission critical 24x7 global requirement. Estimates are that less than 10% of the world is serviced by terrestrial (cellular) communications so KORE has filled that void with our Global Connect Satellite Services powered by Iridium. KORE is offering innovations such as our KORE Satellite pay-per-use plan to enable cost effective m2m satellite options. Bundled with our International IntelliRate GSM services and utilizing dual mode hardware devices now available from multiple vendors, KORE customers can capitalize on least cost routing that can automatically attach to the lowest cost GSM provider or utilize Iridium satellite services when out of range of the KORE cellular network.
2. What kinds of satellite services are available for M2M users and application developers?
KORE Telematics provides our satellite customers with the same extensive level of services utilizing our PRiSMPro platform that we developed for our terrestrial (GSM & CDMA) cellular network services offerings. This includes on inventory management, activation, provisioning and configuration, a wide selection of data plans, threshold monitoring and billing. KORE offers a trial program to customers seeking to add satellite services to their M2M solution portfolio.
3. What are the most popular M2M applications for satellite?
Our solution providers have responded to their customers demand within a wide range of vertical markets for monitoring, tracking, configuration and controlling global assets. We have KORE Satellite customers monitoring heavy equipment, river flows, maritime fleets, wastewater management, electrical generation and grid, oil and gas equipment and rental fleets – to name a few.
4. What do you think are the strengths of satellite connectivity for M2M?
While the global footprint for satellite services is the most obvious strength, there are some more subtle but equally important benefits. Satellite offers a global cost per byte and in some geographic areas and use-cases implementing KORE Satellite Services for low use can be cost competitive with cellular. Additionally the cellular network is subject to outages or capacity constraints in case of natural disasters while the satellite network will continue to be available. So having the option to utilize both terrestrial and satellite networks can provide KORE customers with a competitive advantage.
5. What is the most important thing for a potential consumer to know about satellite services?
While there are several satellite network operators to choose from, KORE selected Iridium as our partner because Iridium has the best global coverage combined with a strong financial position and a long history of delivering reliable connectivity. With 66 satellites in their constellation, Iridium can greatly reduce the inherent latency of satellite communications as the satellites can transfer data in Space, rather than having to send it down to Earth ground stations and then backhaul it every time. The latency is usually 5-60 seconds and the fact that Iridium provides message delivery acknowledgement means a much higher quality of service – should the message confirmation not be received, the satellite will keep trying. KORE Telematics has integrated the Iridium solution into our single management platform – PRiSMPro – and partnered with device OEM manufacturers so that service providers can offer their customers the least cost routing for their M2M data through a single management platform for global deployments.
Ken Connor joined KORE in 2012 and brings over 20 years of experience in electronics technology sales and business development, most recently having served as VP of Sales and Marketing at QUAKE Global a leading manufacturer of satellite modems. Ken is focused on expanding KORE’s penetration into Oil and Gas and Heavy Equipment verticals with both satellite and terrestrial services.