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Inmarsat Launches Internet of Everywhere Strategy

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Inmarsat was at CTIA Super Mobility this week talking about its new Internet of Everywhere strategy. That involves the satellite-based provider promoting the fact that it can and does offer connectivity for unmanned devices; the addition of a new hire to help drive Inmarsat’s IoT/M2M effort forward; and what the company says are expanded relationships with its channel partners.

More than 750,000 IoT endpoints are on the Inmarsat network today, but the company is not necessarily well known for M2M and IoT, said David Wigglesworth, vice president of global Internet of Everywhere at Inmarsat, who joined the company earlier this year. Satellite is needed, he added, because only about 10 percent of the world has cellular coverage. And while satellite used to be a nice to have, but was rather complex and expensive to take advantage of, he said, organizations are now starting to understand it’s something they can benefit from and may be simpler than they think.

Among the benefits of Inmarsat’s network are its worldwide coverage, 99.9 percent availability across its L-band satellite network, and BGAN M2M and IsatData Pro services, the company says. BGAN M2M is a two-way IP data service for monitoring and control of fixed and mobile assets in unmanned or remote locations with higher-bandwidth – from megabytes to gigabytes – capabilities. That might include things like high-volume metering and telemetry, and real-time surveillance. IsatData Pro is a low data rate messaging service that can be used to monitor and track remote fixed or mobile assets where battery operation is required. It’s ideal for such applications as containers and gas flow metering, according to the company. 

Applications like well-head monitoring in the oil and gas vertical, and metering related to the energy sector, can’t tolerate downtime from rain or anything else, Wigglesworth noted, so Inmarsat’s super high reliability and availability are key for such applications.

Inmarsat’s solution is a nice match for applications that combine its connectivity with cellular communications, as the company offers 3GPP-based roaming on its network, so it can facilitate roaming of a cellular SIM onto the network. That means service providers can leverage the infrastructure they already have in place and customers don’t need to spend a lot extra on the service enablement piece, he said.

Wigglesworth added that Inmarsat’s Internet of Everywhere strategy also involves a change of its market strategy relating to OEMs and VARs. The after market will be with us for a while, he said, but will decrease. Inmarsat already has some channel partnerships in place, he added, but is looking for additional value-added reseller partners – probably three to four in each key vertical, and expanding as different geographic areas require. He mentioned heavy equipment, maritime, oil and gas, transportation, and utilities as among the verticals in which Inmarsat has a keen interest. Channel partners will own the customers, he said, and bring the Inmarsat services along for the ride. And Inmarsat will provide channel partners with education about itself, its services, and how those services should be integrated into the larger solutions.

Chuck Moseley, Inmarsat’s director of M2M sales enterprise, noted that because pricing for the satellite services are based on volume, or the amount of data used, some partners and their customers need help understanding what costs they can expect. That’s because people know how frequently their devices communicate, but tend not to know how much actual data is involved in those communications. In addition to assisting on that front, Inmarsat can also offer suggestions on how organizations can be more efficient in managing their traffic to lower their satellite services costs, he added. That might involve, for example, using UDP instead of TCP IP, or changing the frequency of interactions with IoT devices so they only occur when required.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Executive Editor, TMC

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