How Satellite Communication is fast becoming the Key Enabler for Iot Expansion
Internet of Things (IoT) is currently in vogue and it’s all about connectivity. It is expected that more than 20 billion IoT devices will be in use worldwide by 2020. Smartphones connected to smart homes and vehicles, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and smart cities typically produce a lot of data. This massive amount of data or big data, in turn, makes these entities intelligent. Therefore, a reliable 24/7 connectivity demands an efficient communications network that is capable of covering the entire globe.
But the question is which communications technology is capable of managing and processing data generated from 20 billion devices spread across the globe? For years, business operations that extend into obscure sites and platforms have been using satellites to facilitate communication for workflow and process management. Examples include transcontinental voyagers, pipelines across deserts, oil drilling stations somewhere in the sea, and fiber-optic cables connecting the continents.
Satellites enable communication between IoT devices
Custom engineered satellite communication is probably the only feasible solution to the problem of connectivity between IoT devices spread across the globe. Satellite technology has the potential to considerably augment the development of the IoT connectivity. Satellites are easily capable of handling wide-spread connectivity challenge but the speed of data generation and that too for such high volume might prove to be a problem. It is, however, just a matter of time before innovative solutions spring up.
Use cases of IoT connectivity via satellite
Satellite communication serves as a key enabler for new services across industries and beyond geographical borders to transform IoT connectivity. In highly varied applications that range from consumers, to oil and gas to the transportation sector, satellite communications can deliver strategic advantages over terrestrial deployments in the following aspects:
Driving the use of sensor networks - Energy and mining companies are starting to explore more extensive usage of satellite-based sensor networks to support their offshore exploration projects.
Revamping transportation infrastructure - Broadband connectivity on trains, cargo vehicles and maritime vessels is on the rise across the global transportation landscape, and satellite communications is key to enabling the next generation of mobility services.
Ushering in smart cities – Governments across the world are leveraging the capabilities of IoT to drive energy efficiency and smarter resource allocation to help make cities smarter and sustainable. Satellite communication can facilitate the deployment of smart grids in remote regions where terrestrial networks fall short and act as a reliable backup network for critical services such as safety and security.
Connected Cars – A number of automobile manufacturers are integrating safety features in their vehicles including emergency calling and airbag deployment notifications. Guaranteeing the availability of these services can only be achieved with coverage in remote areas around the world.
Satellite operators are currently collaborating to usher services and hardware that can unleash the full potential of IoT. They are developing satellite communication for IoT networks that can be easily integrated into hybrid infrastructure that combine fibre, wireless networks, and satellite. Once IoT is empowered with a global network of billions of interconnected devices, it will have the power to transform business models and bring forth new capabilities.