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April 14, 2023

Satellite IoT use cases: truly global connectivity for real-world applications

Satellite IoT is growing in popularity, providing reliable connectivity to remote locations that would otherwise be challenging or even impossible to reach with terrestrial networks. As the world becomes more connected, the demand for real-time data from even the most remote locations has increased. Satellite IoT provides the solution to this need by offering truly global connectivity for real-world applications.

Satellite IoT is being used in a variety of industries, including healthcare, agriculture, workforce safety, and more. Let’s dive into just some of the most prominent use cases for satellite IoT…

1: Healthcare

IoT has revolutionised the healthcare industry by providing innovative solutions to improve patient care, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. IoT in healthcare refers to the use of connected devices, sensors, and data analytics to collect and analyse patient health data in real-time. This could include remote patient monitoring, smart medical devices and wearable technology like fitness trackers and smart watches.

Satellite IoT can also facilitate medical and healthcare accessibility to patients in remote areas who are unable to travel. For example, utilising the RockBLOCK 9603 technology, satellite IoT has enabled the transportation and delivery of emergency and essential medical supplies to vulnerable people who are at high risk if they travel.

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2: Agriculture

The agriculture industry is utilising satellite IoT to enhance productivity and lower expenses. By monitoring soil moisture, temperature, and other environmental factors, farmers can optimise their crop yield and reduce waste. This is sometimes referred to as Smart Farming. Satellite IoT can also be used to track livestock and monitor their health – improving overall animal welfare and reducing losses.

COSMOS-UK has installed BGAN M2M terminals at remote soil moisture monitoring locations, to help combat climate change. The soil moisture data intelligence delivered by the Hughes 9502 specifically, to agricultural and environmental scientists, has the potential to transform the way we understand and model the natural environment.

Furthermore, satellite IoT has supported Synnefa in Kenya, to operate outside of terrestrial infrastructure by transmitting sensor data to enable smarter predictions for optimum harvesting times. The introduction of precision farming has been so successful, Synnefa has been able to help farmers:

  • Save water by over 50%
  • Reduce fertiliser application rates by 41%
  • Increase production by 30% when compared to yields prior to the use of their devices.

    3: Asset Tracking and Monitoring

    Tracking and managing assets in real-time, providing valuable data on asset location at any given time is made possible with IoT technology. With satellite-enabled tracking devices, businesses can keep track of their assets no matter where they are in the world, even in the most remote locations. But here, it’s not just vessels, wind turbines and remote workers who can be tracked – animals can be too!

    Illegal poaching is a big problem in Gabon, Africa. RockREMOTE with IMT enablement has equipped the rangers in Gabon with the latest in AI-powered camera trap technology to effectively monitor and prevent illegal poaching in the forest. With this advanced technology, endangered African species and iconic African wildlife have greater protection from poachers for this generation and the next.


    4: Workforce and Personnel Safety

    Satellite IoT can be harnessed to monitor the safety of lone or remote workers in hazardous environments. By providing real-time alerts in the event of an incident or emergency, companies can respond quickly and potentially save lives. For example, workers in mining or oil and gas operations can wear wearable devices that monitor their location and vital signs, alerting supervisors in the event of an accident or injury. In addition, monitoring remote military personnel and natural disaster response teams is critical to their safety and well-being.

    For example, the RockSTAR device has been used by the Ministry of Defence in their training. The RockSTAR was paired with bluetooth heart rate monitors, meaning biometrics could be monitored throughout with the added benefit of worldwide tracking and two-way communications. As well as critical monitoring, satellite IoT can also be leveraged for more leisure-based tracking and monitoring applications – including ultra-marathon runners via the RockSTAR tracking and two-way communications device.


    5: Energy and Renewables

    The energy sector is also seeing the benefits of satellite IoT. The technology enables remote monitoring of renewable energy infrastructure in real-time, allowing for early identification of any faults or issues, thus preventing downtime and maximising energy output. The performance of renewable energy assets is also optimised by collecting and analysing data on weather patterns, energy production, and equipment performance. This data can be used to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and even enhance the lifespan of renewable energy assets.

    With five hydroelectric power stations in Snowdonia, North Wales, RWE maximises its renewable energy output from the reservoirs with a remote IoT solution – the Hughes 9502.


    Satellite IoT vs. Traditional Cellular Networks

    While traditional cellular networks are sufficient for many use cases, they have limitations when it comes to remote locations.

    One of the biggest advantages of satellite IoT is that it provides truly global connectivity, even in the most remote and inaccessible locations. Unlike traditional cellular or Wi-Fi networks, satellite signals can reach anywhere on the planet, making it ideal for industries where assets are remote or located in harsh environments.

    With satellite IoT, data can be transmitted from quite literally anywhere in the world, making it ideal for applications where cellular coverage is limited or even non-existent. Satellite IoT is also more reliable than cellular networks in many cases, as it is resilient to interference or disruption from extreme weather events.

    However, it’s not necessary to choose either terrestrial or satellite connectivity. Satellite networks can be deployed quickly and easily, using the same messaging protocols as terrestrial networks, allowing businesses to scale their operations up or down as needed without having to worry about the limitations of traditional networks. What’s more, for businesses and industries that require global connectivity, the cost of deploying and maintaining satellite IoT devices can often be less expensive than building and maintaining traditional terrestrial networks from scratch. It can also be cheaper than deploying remote field engineers to remote sites.

    In Summary…

    Satellite IoT provides reliable connectivity to remote locations; bridging the connectivity gap that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional cellular networks alone.

    From reliable communication to real-time data collection and analysis, satellite IoT is changing the game for businesses and entire industries that need to stay connected no matter where their assets are located. Furthermore, as satellite technology continues to evolve and become more affordable, we can expect to see even more innovative use cases emerge in the coming years.

    Unlock the Full Potential of Your IoT Project

    Incorporating satellite IoT into your existing business operations can revolutionise what you can achieve. With satellite IoT, you can access data and insights that were previously unavailable or difficult to obtain with traditional networks and connectivity options.

    Contact us to discover the added value of satellite IoT to your business today. We’re here to help and provide solutions to your connectivity challenges.