HomeCarriersInmarsat launches satellite IoT marketplace for solutions and collaborations

Inmarsat launches satellite IoT marketplace for solutions and collaborations

UK satellite broadband provider Inmarsat, with a new line in narrowband satellite IoT and a new parent in wings in the shape of US counterpart Viasat, has introduced a collaboration and solutions marketplace for partners to support its own entry into the satellite IoT market, and to expand opportunities for partners. The new programme, called ELEVATE, will help partners achieve double digit growth, and establish itself as the “leading” marketplace for satellite IoT, it said – for solutions that “work anywhere in the world”.

Inmarsat claims the “world’s most diverse portfolio” of mobile telecoms satellite networks, and a global spectrum portfolio at 1525-1646.5 covering the L-band, Ka-band and S-band. Its new ELERA satellite system, providing narrowband IoT connectivity in the L-band, was announced in August, to go live with aviation customers from 2022. It is being pitched as a “springboard for innovation… on land, at sea and in the air”.

Its acquisition by Viasat, worth $7.3 billion and expected to close in the second half of 2022, will see the combined company integrate their spectrum, satellite, and terrestrial assets as a “global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network”, the pair said. It will focus on supplying satellite-based broadband and narrowband services to commercial and government sectors.

The number of satellite IoT subscribers will increase at a compound rate of 35.8 percent per year (CAGR) to reach 15.7 million in 2025, from around 3.4 million in 2020, reckons analyst firm Berg Insight. Only about 10 percent of the Earth’s surface has access to terrestrial connectivity services, it says, leaving a “massive opportunity” for satellite IoT to provide a complement to ground-based cellular and non-cellular IoT networks.

The opportunity for satellite IoT is in remote applications, notably for agriculture, asset tracking, maritime and intermodal transportation, oil and gas industry exploration, utilities, construction and governments. Inmarsat quoted a forecast from analyst firm Omdia, that the number of global satellite IoT connections will grow at a compound rate of 25 percent per annum (CAGR) “in the coming years”. 

Inmarsat said this kind of growth projection requires a “one-stop shop” for IoT solutions, which it is seeking to provide. The ELEVATE programme offers “three key pillars” to support businesses throughout the IoT ecosystem, it said. These pillars are: a development programme for IoT solution providers, system integrators, machinery manufacturers, and OEMs looking to scale using Inmarsat’s ELERA network; a partner ecosystem enabling mutual access to knowledge and collaboration opportunities; and an online marketplace to promote IoT solutions.

Mike Carter, president at Inmarsat Enterprise, said “The satellite IoT market has been steadily growing for years – now is the time to kickstart more rapid growth. ELEVATE will help customers realise the promise of IoT anywhere, while empowering the wider satellite IoT ecosystem to make it a reality. The ELEVATE community will play an active role in addressing the planet’s really big challenges, helping build a more sustainable, efficient and safe global supply chain. 

“Inmarsat’s ELERA network provides an essential backbone to IoT innovation, so our development partners will be able to scale and grow their operations backed by its reliability and seamless global connectivity. Our partner ecosystem will enable knowledge-sharing and collaboration at an unprecedented scale, between parties of all sizes, in all geographies and industries, while our online marketplace will promote IoT solutions for any and every business need.”

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