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The Growing Role of Satellites in M2M

Posted by Norman Miglietta on 01/15/2014

With the recent announcement regarding the addition of Inmarsat Mobile Satellite Data Services to our KORE Global Connect services portfolio, we thought it would  be a good time to dive a little deeper into the rapidly growing role of satellite services in M2M. With only 8% of the Earth’s surface having access to cellular connectivity and the fact that true global connectivity is becoming more important to M2M customers, satellite is evolving into an integral part of successful M2M applications and deployments.

Satellite services, on a basic level, offer greater ease of operation, a more comprehensive pricing structure, higher levels of security and increased reliability of service. Satellite connectivity also provides a longer life-span for M2M devices and technologies – companies can more predictably “future-proof” their investments as they don’t have to worry, for example, about frequency shifting, i.e.: 2G to 3G, and can expect more stability from satellite service providers given the massive capital requirements needed to just start their businesses. However, there are certainly industries where cellular services make more sense than satellite and vice versa. For example, industries look into satellite services if there are high-value assets or data that require high reliability and coverage. For instance, satellite services excel in:

  • Mining – when drilling into the depths of the earth in far-flung locations around the world, it’s important to have a strong satellite signal where cellular infrastructure may not exist
  • Maritime—where ships and vessels must communicate location coordinates and have always-on communication with emergency and related personnel when far beyond the reach of cellular connectivity
  • Environmental monitoring, agriculture and irrigation – similar to oil & gas, devices for environmental monitoring, agriculture and irrigation are often operating in remote locations with little to no cellular service. It’s imperative for companies to utilize satellite services or they risk loss of connectivity

Most importantly, satellite services allow for business continuity. Today’s society is ‘always on’ and M2M applications are no different. Some customers need to be connected at all times without the worry of an outage or roaming costs, especially in the face of natural disasters. Satellite also opens up the market for dual-mode devices that can seamlessly switch between cellular and satellite connectivity based on a M2M device’s specific location – a new advancement that is fully supported by the KORE network. By bringing devices and applications under one global, reliable umbrella, satellite services are working to create a truly connected world.

Check back as we plan to write a second part to this series helping customers understand the differences between various ‘flavors’ of satellite services and optimized use-cases to determine which offerings or combinations are right for their applications.

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.


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