Iridium partners with Magnitude Space to explore IoT satellites opportunity
Iridium partners with Magnitude Space to use satellites in IoT
(Credit: Iridium)

Iridium partners with Magnitude Space to explore IoT satellites opportunity

Small satellites could be key to low-power, high-latency IoT service alternatives, says Iridium. 

Mobile satellite comms company Iridium Communications has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IoT connectivity company Magnitude Space, in a bid to expand opportunities for space-based IoT connectivity and the development of reliable, low-power global area network (LPGAN) technologies.

Magnitude Space, headquartered in Amsterdam, is planning to build a network of 18 to 24 small satellites, that will deliver LPGAN connectivity to remote areas of the world. The company claims that its technology will be a cost-effective, reliable option for companies in need of very low-power, low-cost, monitoring and tracking options, requiring longer battery life and infrequent non-real-time messaging.

Orders of Magnitude

Ernst Peter Hovinga, CEO of Magnitude Space, said that his company feels Iridium is its “ideal” partner. “They set the standard for low earth satellite network operations, and support a vast distribution and technology partner ecosystem for satellite IoT customers,” he explained.

“Since Iridium primarily serves the requirements of customers with fully global, low latency needs, and we plan to meet the needs of companies requiring low-power monitoring services, we are truly complementary in our respective approaches.”

Hovinga added that his company intends to launch commercially  in the second quarter of 2018. “Our partnership has the potential to bring two networks together, addressing the total IoT connectivity proposition present in the market today. We look forward to continuing the conversation and learning from a leader in the mobile satellite space.”

Read more: Vancouver-based IoT firm Helios raises $4 million to launch first satellite

Multiple partnerships

This partnership is the latest of several relationships that Iridium has been cultivating within the IoT industry, specifically around low-power satellites.

“Lower power initiatives are a key aspect of Iridium’s IoT business strategy,” said Tim Last, vice president and general manager, Iridium IoT line of business. “Magnitude Space has a solid business proposition with a collaborative approach, which is ideal for this exploratory phase of our relationship.  The industry needs both medium-to-high power satellite-based IoT solutions, as well as LPGAN offerings, and we can now discuss ways to best leverage both our network, and their offerings to expand our portfolio of premium IoT solutions.”

Read more: Sky and Space Global hits new nano-satellites milestone

M2M Satellites

In other satellite-focused IoT news, Globalstar has announced its newest M2M/IoT satellite device, the SmartOne Solar.

SmartOne Solar is powered with solar-rechargeable batteries which can deliver over eight years of serviceable life. The device will operate continuously for many months, while reporting twice a day without the need for exposure to sunlight.

It is part of a line-up of satellite-based data products designed to meet the M2M needs of businesses in industries such as oil and gas, transportation and logistics, mining, forestry, utilities and commercial maritime with critical data monitoring and remote asset management needs.

“There is an exponential growth in M2M markets worldwide fueled by demand for affordable, reliable IoT data solutions that help businesses monitor, manage and automate collection of data from remote assets. SmartOne Solar is part of a line of products designed to help our customers affordably streamline remote M2M and IoT operations over our modern and fast satellite network,” said Jay Monroe, chairman and CEO of Globalstar.