Satellite Connectivity: When Mobile Goes Global
Over the next three to five years, thousands of next-generation satellites will be deployed worldwide. Low earth-orbiting (LEO) satellites will be a fraction of the size and cost from previous generations, with the computing power and efficiencies to compete with terrestrial communication networks.
These satellites will cover nearly 100 percent of the world not covered by cellular technology today. Satellite will enable IoT to reach any part of the Earth’s surface, from the middle of oceans to the most-remote land-based regions. Sensors will be able to gather data, and in real-time respond to changing conditions.
Imagine making a call on your phone while you’re docked at a port on a cruise and continuing that call while you’re out to sea with no disruption. Consumers shouldn’t even see a difference in coverage, as satellite would seamlessly pick up where mobile connectivity ends.
Satellite Connectivity for Enterprise
On the enterprise side, a satellite service can be used for a standard tracking device (attached to a shipping container or an automated irrigation system) and can be shipped anywhere in the world without roaming agreements or connectivity arrangements between regional partners. Satellites can offer high-bandwidth and low latency for IoT applications beyond terrestrial wireless network capability or line of sight IoT applications such as drones.
Satellite is now offering global coverage at a price point comparable to terrestrial low-power wide area offerings. The majority of IoT applications projected to be deployed in the next five to ten years will involve mostly environmental types of sensing or resource monitoring.
Plans for new satellites in LEO offer communication will provide revolutionary opportunities in IoT. Satellite could be priced just like cellular, deliver faster connectivity than low-power wide area networks and provide global coverage and support. These new satellites can create a disruptive opportunity for CSP digital transformation and technology leaders agile enough to take advantage of them.
Monetizing Satellite Connectivity
Software communications and telecom-grade architectures embedded into satellite deployments are making it easier to support real-time go-to-market plans for satellite connectivity. But satellites and their data will need to be activated, monitored, collected, correlated, stored, protected, shared, maintained, communicated and commercialized.
Many satellite connectivity providers that have launched or want to launch a global business will need systems that can scale to spikes in demand in real time. In addition, they will need to have the ability to build offers, and fulfill orders. And be able to activate devices, monitor them and communicate to end users. In addition, providers will have to manage a myriad of users, support complex B2B2X scenarios for reselling connectivity and equipment for usage of their network.
Now the race is on to see who can monetize that connectivity first.