Skylo Technologies is to begin offering commercial satellite-based NarrowBand IoT (NB IoT) services through agreements with Inmarsat and SoftBank.

The provider of Narrowband IoT services this week announces that satellite operator Inmarsat will provide the satellite capacity backbone through its L-band Network to deliver its IoT solutions for connecting machines and sensors.

“Our global IoT connectivity fabric makes way for thousands of life-changing applications — from managing vaccine efficacy during delivery, to advancing precision farming, to providing early warnings in the event of natural disasters,” said Skylo CEO and co-founder Parth Trivedi.

“We look forward to expanding globally and making our platform available to small and large enterprises, companies deploying new sensors, systems integrators, distributors, governments, and OEMs.”

NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area Network technology developed to enable cost-effective IoT devices and services while keeping battery and spectrum requirements low.

Skylo connects machines in order to provide continuous, real-time data transmission via the Skylo Hub; a small, rugged terminal that transmits data to the Skylo Satellite Network. The solution is now available in India through a partnership with state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and expansion plans will be announced later this year.

“Inmarsat’s industry-leading L-band network provides a unique capability for enabling the billions of connected IoT devices in India and across the world that are being deployed at an extraordinary speed,” added Inmarsat CEO Rajeev Suri. “We are delighted to work with Skylo to provide the IoT fabric that matches their ambition.”

Softbank offers stratospheric coverage

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Inmarsat satellite – Inmarsat

Skylo is also partnering with SoftBank for what the Japanese company is calling Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) solutions that provide connectivity from space and the stratosphere.

SoftBank’s offerings will include Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) satellite NB IoT services provided by Skylo, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications to be provided by OneWeb, and High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS)-based stratospheric telecommunication platforms to be provided by SoftBank subsidiary HAPSMobile Inc.

SoftBank has invested in a number of non-terrestrial communications in recent years. As well as owning HAPSMobile, the company has previously invested in both Skylo and SoftBank, as well as Aerostat company Altaeros.

“There are still many analog industries around the world that lack sufficient access to communication networks. Providing Internet access is the first step to digitally transform these industries, and we believe our NTN solutions will be extremely effective technologies to achieve this goal,” said Hidebumi Kitahara, SoftBank VP and head of the technology unit's global business strategy division.

“With our NTN solutions powered by Skylo, OneWeb, and HAPSMobile, we'll work to offer telecommunication networks globally.”