A Summer of Satellite for the IoT

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By Jamie Moss | 3Q 2020 | IN-5923


NB-IoT over Satellite


It was a summer of satellite developments for the Internet of Things (IoT), as big cellular integration projects were announced by two renowned Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) chipset manufacturers on the same day. On August 19, 2020, Sony Semiconductor Israel declared that it was working with startup Skylo Technologies to develop and deploy NB-IoT-based chipsets that use a gateway to connect to satellites in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) to realize a global network of “NB-IoT over satellite” connectivity. With identical timing, MediaTek stated it had successfully completed a field trial with long-standing satellite incumbent Inmarsat to achieve bi-directional communication between a terrestrial satellite-enabled NB-IoT device and Inmarsat’s Alphasat L-band satellite. NB-IoT is definitionally a “wide-area” technology, and the use of satellite to backhaul its signals over 35,000 kilometers into space—and back again—genuinely takes the concept to the next level!

Sony Semiconductor Israel was born out of the US$212 million acquisition of Altair Semiconductor by Sony …

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