IoT and M2M Connectivity

We design and build satellite IoT solutions so you can retrieve your data from anywhere.
From farm telemetry to flood warnings to forestry machinery, we've got you covered.
We work with developers, manufacturers and systems integrators to help solve your
remote data transfer challenges.

Selecting the Right Satellite IoT Hardware & Airtime

These questions are aimed at helping you narrow down your options. We’re here to help, so please contact us if you’d like any support identifying the best solution for your needs.

HOW DATA-INTENSIVE IS YOUR APPLICATION?
CAN YOUR DEVICE CONTROL YOUR DATA?
HOW TIME-CRITICAL IS RECEIPT OF YOUR DATA?
WHERE ARE YOUR ASSETS, AND ARE THEY MOBILE?
WHAT LEVEL OF DATA SECURITY IS REQUIRED?
Low Volume

E.g. telemetry, sensor data. A few bytes to a few kilobytes.

For low volumes of data, messaging services are highly cost effective. (If you’re not familiar with messaging services, it’s not dissimilar to how SMS works but over satellite). You should investigate Iridium SBD and Inmarsat IDP for critical applications, or cubesats.

Medium Volume

E.g. audio, images, log files. Kilobytes to a few megabytes.

For medium volume use cases, you should consider Iridium Certus 100 (either IP or IMT) and Inmarsat BGAN M2M.

High Volume

E.g. video. Megabytes to gigabytes.

If you need to transmit high volumes of IoT data, it’s worth exploring Starlink or VSAT solutions.

Tab 1 Asset Data Volume Graph
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YES, MY DEVICE DOES

 
 
Great, edge computing, reporting by exception and condition-based logging will help reduce the amount of data you need to transmit, potentially opening up messaging services for your application.

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NO, MY DEVICE DOESN’T

 
 
You could consider a communications device which has edge processing capability such as the RockREMOTE and the RockFLEET.

Low & Medium Latency

If it’s essential that your data is delivered in close to real-time, you need to consider the network maturity, visibility and latency. Iridium-powered devices have the lowest latency and the broadest visibility. Inmarsat BGAN M2M and ScadaSAT by TSAT also offer very low latency and very high reliability of data delivery.

High Latency

If you can wait for your data (i.e. store and forward), you can optimize your delivery, and look at networks that have fewer satellites in orbit (newer LEO constellations like Swarm, for example).

National Critical Infrastructure

If you operate national critical infrastructure, you may need something with zero reliance on public infrastructure. Have a look at the SCADASat, which gives you a private satellite network.

Tab 3 Asset Latency graph
Fixed

You’ve got more options as your antenna can be pointed at a fixed point in the sky, opening up geostationary services like Inmarsat. If your location is heavily wooded and hilly, a low earth orbit service like Iridium may be better as satellites are passing constantly overhead.

Mobile

You either need an auto-pointing device to connect with a geostationary satellite (such as Inmarsat) or – and it’s usually a better option – an omni-directional antenna which speaks to a satellite constellation in low earth orbit (such as Iridium) which will retain constant contact with your things as they move.

Polar

Only established low earth orbit satellite constellations work well in the polar regions so you’re looking at Iridium.

Tab 4 Asset
Default

Data security is a priority but not necessarily a concern. Satellite data traffic is already relatively secure meeting most military and government security standards. But you may want to consider a public static LPS and/or completely configurable firewalls, to assist your data getting from A to B.

Mid-Level

If your application requires higher levels of security, it’s worth exploring data encryption options. You can encrypt data prior to transmission, send over satellite link and then decrypt once landed. With Ground Control you can also set up a VPN from our data centre direct to your server, creating a secure, virtual tunnel.

Private Network

If you require a completely private, secure network have a look at the SCADASat. This service offers customers their own dedicated frequency on the space segment – an extremely secure solution with relatively low OPEX costs. For Inmarsat and Iridium traffic, you can consider MPLS installation or leased-lines offering a private network solution.

Sat-IoT-Security

Working with Ground Control

Whether you want to self-serve from beginning to end, or tap into Ground Control’s 20-plus years’ of experience, we’ve got you covered.

Get inspired

RockBLOCK 9603 for small enclosures
Want to browse products? Head to our IoT product pages. Not sure what you need for your project, or want to talk through your options? We are a passionate team of entrepreneurs and engineers, we’ve worked on thousands of satellite IoT projects – we’re happy to talk about your project.

Get started

Satellite airtime
Once you’ve selected your preferred device, you’ll need airtime. We offer a credits-based pay-as-you-go system designed for proof of concept trials, as it keeps costs highly predictable and controlled. We also offer some of the best-priced airtime rates for Inmarsat and Iridium available today.

Get informed


All of our customers gain free access to Cloudloop. This is our network-agnostic, developer-friendly, subscription, device and data management platform. Integrate directly into your eco system or consume the data via a customer-friendly, data rich UI. Or do both – you choose.

Get inventive

RockBLOCK Plus with captions
What our customers do with our hardware genuinely inspires us. Most applications involve some sort of sensor, a processor to read data from the sensor, and Ground Control providing data transmission. The possibilities aren’t quite endless but they’re not far off!

Feature development is customer-led, so if you’re not sure if our devices can deliver what you need, talk to one of our support team and we’ll see what we can do.

Get value

RockREMOTE plus Cloudloop
Worried about the cost of your satellite IoT connectivity? We get it – satellite has a reputation for being expensive. It’s different with Ground Control, though. We design and build our own devices, so we keep a firm grip on costs without compromising on quality. We have some of the lowest cost airtime service plans available. And with Cloudloop, you can set up alerts if any of your devices are over-spending, and even automatically deactivate them.

How satellite IoT complements cellular and LPWAN networks

Satellite connectivity extends your IoT network coverage, and is often used for gateway data backhaul, or as an alternative means of communication in areas lacking LPWAN or cellular coverage. It delivers instant infrastructure in remote or inaccessible zones and for mobile assets transitioning between terrestrial network coverage areas. For more information on one of our real-world examples, see Using Satellite Connectivity for LoRaWAN data backhaul.
 
Ready to explore connectivity solutions for your IoT network? Click below to contact our expert team.
 

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Ready to extend the reach of your IoT application?

We're here to help. With highly experienced staff based in the UK and USA, we're here to talk through your most challenging remote connectivity requirements.

Complete the form, or if you prefer to speak to someone directly, call us on +44 (0) 1452 751940 (Europe, Asia, Africa) or +1.805.783.4600 (North and South America).