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IoT And Satellite Communications

March 11, 2019

Satellite Communications

One topic that is increasingly being discussed is the Internet of Things (IoT). In basic terms, this is a concept that revolves around connecting all devices that have an on and off switch to the Internet. This includes everything from lamps and washing machines to coffee makers and mobile phones. It can also apply to machine components as well, such as an aeroplane’s jet engine.

This concept has stemmed from numerous factors, including the fact that Broadband is now widely available, including portable WiFi hotspot options, smartphone penetration is rocketing, the costs of technology are decreasing, as are the costs of connecting, and more devices have sensors and Wi-Fi capabilities built into them.  It is predicted that in five years time, there will be more than 26 billion connected devices, according to the analyst firm Gartner. And, therefore, the Internet of Things is essentially that – a huge network of connected ‘things’.

Upon initially discover about the IoT, a lot of people are flabbergasted. After all, why do we need so many connected devices? Well, imagine a world where your classroom equipment knew it was about to run out, and the supplies you required were automatically re-ordered? Or, what about if your coffee maker automatically brewed a coffee for you when your alarm went off in the morning? The possibilities are quite literally endless.

However, if the Internet of Things is really to take off, then there is one vital component, and this is satellite communications. Satellite technology holds the key to unlocking the promise of interconnected devices across geographical borders and industries. When contrasted with terrestrial deployments, satellite operators can provide extensive strategic benefits when connecting highly varied applications that are ranging from use in various sectors to consumer use. Examples include the following:

  • Facilitating mobile banking – Mobile Point-of-Sales applications and wireless ATMs will run smoothly across a large geographical span with satellite acting as the main communications backbone.
  • Connecting vehicles – Satellite technology can ensure that coverage in remote areas around the globe is achieved, which is pivotal if safety features, such as emergency calling, are to be available and effective.
  • The development of sustainable cities – The IoT can lead to smarter resource allocation and energy efficiency, thus enhancing the sustainability to cities. However, satellite technology is essential to achieve this, as it will ensure that smart grids are deployed in remote regions, and there is a reliable back-up network for security and safety services.
  • Transportation infrastructure – Satellite communications will enable the next generation of mobility services, ensuring connectivity across the worldwide transportation landscape.
  • Offshore exploration projects – These projects can be supported thanks to the use of satellite-based sensor networks.
  • Connect remote assets – At offshore platforms and unmanned sites, real-time asset management and facility monitoring can take place thanks to satellites.

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