Semtech, EchoStar test satellite-enabled LoRaWAN for utilities, agriculture, maritime
Semtech is working with EchoStar Mobile, a mobile satellite services provider in Europe, to test satellite connectivity services enabled by the LoRaWAN protocol. The pair want to create the “first low cost, satellite-based, real-time, bidirectional, massive IoT connectivity service”, they said.
The LoRa Alliance, promoting the LoRaWAN protocol for low power wide area (LPWA) networks, recently expanded the LoRaWAN protocol to include ‘long-range frequency-hopping spread spectrum’ (LR-FHSS) data rates. LR-FHSS extends the LoRaWAN protocol’s support to enable direct data links from end nodes to satellites by leveraging either the unlicensed ISM band, or through licensed spectrum.
The latter, as with EchoStar Mobile, provides a differentiated service versus the ISM band, said Semtech. LR-FHSS provides support for “millions of end nodes and delivers a new level of robustness for IoT services”, said Semtech. EchoStar Mobile cited usage in logistics, asset tracking, transportation, utilities, agriculture, and the maritime sector.
Telemaco Melia, senior director of commercial operations at EchoStar Mobile, said: “With our technology collaborator, Semtech, and as a new member of the LoRa Alliance, we are excited to explore the use of next-generation LoRaWAN network technology to bring new satellite-based connectivity services to the IoT market. New LoRa satellite services are expected to bring lower price points to the market, opening up a larger addressable opportunity across key industries.”
Marc Pegulu, vice president of IoT product marketing and strategy for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group, said: “Only 10 percent of the world’s surface has terrestrial connectivity. Semtech’s LoRa devices integrated with LR-FHSS allow satellites to connect IoT devices in the vast remote areas around the globe to enable IoT solutions with an unmatched continuum of coverage and performance. Our work with EchoStar Mobile and LoRa Alliance members is expected to achieve complementary satellite and terrestrial LoRaWAN network connectivity services for customers who require global coverage from land to sea to air.”