For many stakeholders, M2M and cellular connectivity are used interchangeably, and for good reason: Most device designs include a myriad of options to transmit and receive data by cellular networks, and satellite gets relegated to “afterthought” status. But to stop there is to overlook certain advantages, and sometimes necessities, of satellite communications. The fact is that satellite connectivity can sometimes be the right choice for M2M in certain geographies.
How much do you know about the role of satellite-based M2M communications? Here are a few facts to consider:
Did you know?
- Only eight percent of the world’s surface area can be covered by cellular signals. The other 92 percent require satellite connectivity to enable M2M or IoT communication.
- High-volume data is possible with satellite connectivity. Satellite has developed a bad reputation in this area to be sure, but there are many options for high-bandwidth satellite communication. For example GPRS-like capabilities for large data packets are now available through BGAN-M2M, allowing high volumes of data transmission at a relatively low cost per MB.
- Satellite is an excellent option for monitoring fixed assets, such as oil rigs and pipelines. It provides reliable connectivity for reporting requirements that go beyond exception-based notifications, where you need to know more than just something’s wrong, but rather what exactly is wrong.
- Combining cellular and satellite technologies in the same device provides greater peace-of-mind. Even if it only comes into play once a year, users know their device connections will remain live even during cellular network overloads and unexpected outages.
- “Short burst” satellite is often the de facto choice for monitoring and tracking cargo on the open seas, where cellular simply doesn’t reach. These low-use apps can save the day simply by providing alerts that say, “I’m here” or, “Something’s askew.”
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