Astrocast, a leading global nanosatellite IoT network operator, and Soracom, a global provider of advanced IoT connectivity, have partnered to embed the Astrocast Satellite IoT (SatIoT) solution into the Soracom platform. This collaboration enables Soracom to offer integrators and end customers blended IoT connectivity options that comprise satellite and cellular connectivity.
Since 85% of the globe has zero cellular coverage, Astrocast’s SatIoT solution will provide a key component to Soracom’s 20,000 plus customers across the world; with devices in areas where cellular coverage does not reach. Organisations can access Astrocast SatIoT by subscribing to the Soracom platform, taking advantage of the seamless, secure integration to a choice of cloud services. They will be able to make use of Soracom’s blended connectivity options or SatIoT alone.
Astrocast’s cost-effective global SatIoT will enable Soracom’s customers to derive more value from their IoT investments. An array of organisations and use cases – of all sizes and types – will benefit from SatIoT connectivity. This range includes Smart Agriculture, preventive maintenance and asset tracking.
Satellite IoT Solution Requirements
When Soracom was searching for a satellite IoT provider, several factors were important. Of note, this included global coverage, the cost model, the power efficiency of devices that would connect to the SatIoT network and, very importantly, the ease of operation of the Astrocast SatIoT platform and its integration into the Soracom solution.
Global coverage: From truly remote locations to goods in transit, SatIoT needs to deliver global connectivity that complements the existing cellular network options.
Affordability: IoT operations are incredibly cost sensitive. Whether a business is looking to deploy ten devices or hundreds of thousands of devices, tiny differences in cost, performance and lifetime will fundamentally change the return on investment (ROI).
Power consumption: The efficiency of power consumption has a direct impact on device battery life. With devices typically located in remote and inaccessible locations, it is crucial to maximise battery life, because making replacements or repairs is often impractical and unaffordable. A low power SatIoT solution will radically extend the life of a device – with batteries typically lasting between five and ten years.
Bidirectional communication: Two-way communication is essential both to underpin innovative IoT applications and enable changes to the way the device operates. For example, a business can send a short message to change a device’s operating parameters – reducing the number of times each day a temperature recording is taken, from once an hour to just twice a day, would reduce power consumption, and extend battery life further.
Effective integration: To ensure SatIoT’s commercial viability on the Soracom platform requires seamless integration, ensuring organisations can gain transparent access to IoT data irrespective of the underlying network. Astrocast’s proven API ensured a rapid interface development, enabling Soracom to add the SatIoT connectivity option for its customers.
Kenta Yasukawa, CTO, Soracom, says: “This is only the beginning of our journey with Astrocast. The power of IoT to transform operations is indisputable. What has been achieved to date is compelling; but there is so much more that can be achieved together. With an affordable and accessible IoT platform, Soracom’s addition of Astrocast SatIoT will transform the ease with which integrators and businesses of all sizes can explore the power of SatIoT. We want to work together with Astrocast, and our clients, to accelerate innovation by combining our joint depths of insight, and knowledge of IoT; with the expertise of individuals on the ground that are developing and using IoT for the integrators and customers that we work for. This way, we can ensure the most effective deployment of IoT.”
“With 83% of organisations claiming to have improved efficiency by introducing IoT technology, it is little wonder that IoT solutions have the potential to generate $4-11 trillion in economic value by 2025,” says Fabien Jordan, CEO and Co-Founder, Astrocast. “This is the first time a well-established communication provider like Soracom is expanding its global reach with satellite connectivity. Furthermore, there is a significant pent up demand across many industries for IoT deployments across the 85% of the globe that currently has zero cellular coverage.
“The availability of cost-effective, low power, bidirectional satellite technology is providing new opportunities for an array of organisations and use cases. The accessibility of the Soracom platform with Satellite IoT will give many integrators and organisations a chance to explore and develop a new dimension to their IoT platform.”