Eutelsat and Sigfox

Nanosatellites for the IoT

25. September 2019, 17:24 Uhr   |  Heinz Arnold

Nanosatellites for the IoT
© Eutelsat

By 2022, a network of 25 nanosatellites in combination with Sigfox will enable IoT communication around the world.

In different sectors, from logistics and transport to oil and gas to agriculture, hundreds of millions of objects will have to exchange information with each other in the future - even in areas where there is no terrestrial reception. This is why Eutelsat is now using ELO to set up a satellite network that allows communication between all the different objects - regardless of where they are on Earth. Eutelsat wants to give IT integrators and service companies the opportunity to offer their customers worldwide coverage for IoT communications.

To this end, Eutelsat has entered into a strategic partnership with Sigfox, which operates LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) networks worldwide, currently in 65 countries. The combination of Sigfox and communication via ELO will open the door to many other applications, such as tracking containers as they are transported across the oceans. Communication would also provide valuable help in the event of catastrophes.

"Eutelsat can now position itself early in the emerging IoT market. With the combination of satellite communications and Sigfox's LPWAN, we offer global coverage with a relatively modest investment and the ability to expand the system over time as needed," says Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat.

Eutelsat's ELO satellite network consists of a total of 25 low orbit nanosatellites, each costing no more than EUR 1 million. Initially, Loft Orbital (ELO 1 and ELO 2) and Clyde Space (ELO 3 and ELO 4) will build the first four nanosatellites. They are to be launched between 2020 and 2021. A further 21 satellites are to follow, so that ELO would be fully operational by 2022.

Eutelsat had already awarded Tyvak International a contract in 2018 to build a nanosatellite, which will be launched at the beginning of next year and will be used for preparatory functional tests.

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