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A Soracom-Skylo Partnership: NTN Connectivity and Cloud-Native IoT

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To say there’s been a shortage in IoT news from 2015-founded provider of premier IoT services Soracom Inc. would be a couldn’t-be-further-from-the-truth sort of statement.

Below, we’ve taken the liberty of highlighting our Soracom coverage so far:

And good Soracom news keeps a-comin’, it would seem.

As I was crafting another IoT-related article earlier this morning, I happened to use the phrase “a season of partnerships.” It turns out that phrase is applicable here too; today, Soracom just announced its newest strategic partnership with Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) service operator Skylo Technologies.

Skylo is also a name we’ve touched on in the past (i.e. in an emergency services-centric piece, as well Skylo’s own partnership with a cellular communications and IoT company with a focus on NTN-compliant radio user equipment). For our purposes, the latter is most relevant to today’s Soracom + Skylo announcement.

By collaborating, the two companies are promising customers building IoT solutions and M2M devices improved access to Skylo’s direct-to-device 3GPP NTN connectivity, along with Soracom’s fully virtualized platform.

Here are the long-story-short technical details:

  • In 2022, Soracom added native support for satellite messaging capability; this allows customers to manage satellite IoT devices and billing directly through Soracom’s platform. In turn, Skylo’s satellite NTN allows chipsets, modems and modules designed for terrestrial to connect via existing satellites using the global 3GPP Release 17 standard.
  • That said, while grounded in 3GPP specifications, Skylo’s engineers take an additional approach, adding more to improve “functionality, interoperability, and ubiquity of satellite-based network over and above the 3GPP standards,” per the Skylo team.
  • So, by combining Soracom protocol conversion and authentication offloading features, customers can also minimize the amount of data transmitted over satellite links while maintaining integration with their preferred cloud service.

That’s still a fair amount to digest; nevertheless, Soracom and Skylo are making things easier overall for customers.

“We remain committed to a cloud-native future where anything can connect to the cloud from anywhere, all without compromisation to availability, capability, and of course affordability,” said Kenta Yasukawa, Soracom’s CTO. “Combining Skylo’s breakthrough NTN NB-IoT network technology, we can better enable customers to add more robust satellite coverage to their various existing hardware with minimal data overhead for hyperscaler cloud integrations.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Soracom, as their expertise aligns with our mission to continue connecting the unconnected,” said Dr. Andrew Nuttall, Skylo’s CTO.




Edited by Greg Tavarez
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