Mobile satellite communications Inmarsat has developed a LoRaWAN-based Internet of Things (IoT) network developed in partnership with Actility, the low power wide area network provider.
The duo intend to offer satellite connectivity enabled applications in asset tracking, agribusiness and oil & gas to help businesses in remote regions of the world. Inmarsat and Actility’s three early applications cover:
Asset tracking: Tracking the location, movement, health and other key statistics of cattle on a remote ranch in Australia, replacing the manual process of sending an employee to look for cattle that have strayed. An alert is sent out to the ranch manager when an animal is at risk of being lost, is behaving erratically, or is nearing the perimeter of the ranch, enabling the owner to take immediate action.
Agribusiness: Monitoring the water levels in reservoirs and soil moisture at the roots of plants across the breadth of a large, remote palm oil plantation in Malaysia to deliver water to where it is most needed and achieve maximum crop yield. This enables smarter resource management in an area and reduces the amount of land required for production.
Oil & Gas: Remote monitoring of oil platform processes where cellular coverage is patchy or non-existent to identify potential failure points so that they may be addressed and costly downtime avoided. An upstream production site continuously measures operational parameters and transmits them to a control room where a SCADA system adjusts set-points and provides control settings.
Inmarsat is claiming its LoRaWAN network, powered by Actility’s ThingPark LPWA platform, is the world’s first global IoT network. It says the new service will allow customers and partners to cost-effectively bring to market IoT solutions which can be delivered anywhere in the world, to any type of business, with LoRaWAN-based connectivity on the ground and satellite connectivity as the network backbone.
The integrated platform provides an end-to-end solution that transmits site-specific data to applications in the cloud for analysis, delivering insights and supporting decision making, and creating value for the end customer.
“These three early applications are indicative of the industrial IoT market in general: businesses don’t need an off-the-shelf IoT solution for agribusiness or asset tracking; they need a specific solution for a specific problem,” said Paul Gudonis, president, Inmarsat Enterprise. “Through our collaboration with Actility, we have the building blocks to tailor solutions for each specific opportunity, no matter where it is in the world.”
Inmarsat and Actility last year announced a partnership that combines Inmarsat’s global L-band satellite connectivity platform with Actility’s ThingPark IoT management platform to deliver an integrated solution for IoT, linking connectivity, services and IoT devices from a single application and service management point, to connect objects deployed anywhere on the planet.
Actility is also now part of Inmarsat’s Certified Applications Provider Programme (CAPP), which allows third-party companies to develop applications and solutions that are compatible with Inmarsat’s satellite communications network.
“Actility has worked on many large-scale nationwide LPWA network deployments, but this is bigger: we’re fantastically excited about being part of the first truly global IoT network in partnership with Inmarsat,” said Actility CEO Mike Mulica.
“Our collaboration with Inmarsat allows us to provide customers with an end-to-end solution to connect their assets and fulfil their IoT business needs anywhere in the world. We’ll be working alongside Inmarsat every step of the way to help global customers address their specific needs with more efficient, best-fit solutions.”