For the remotest IoT gear, cellular and satellite are coming together

Enterprises will be able to buy both from AT&T through a new partnership with Globecomm

Many enterprises are looking to the Internet of Things to monitor and control assets they can't physically reach. Building networks that can cover all those assets is one of the big challenges of industrial IoT.

Cellular networks cover people well, at least in developed countries, but total land area not as well. LPWANs (low-power wide-area networks) are emerging as an alternative for reaching endpoints over longer distances, thanks to their lower speed and power levels and designs optimized for IoT. But for truly global connectivity, satellite is really the only game in town. (And, more importantly, far out of town.)

AT&T and satellite integration company Globecomm joined hands on Monday to let enterprises buy and manage both cellular and satellite connectivity from AT&T. The service, available now, will save enterprises money and eliminate the blame game over which network fell through and left a device unconnected, said Gopinath Polavarapu, vice president of mobility products at Globecomm.

The two companies are after IoT systems like connected tractors that may operate part of the time in areas of cell coverage but sometimes go out into the fields where only satellite can reach. Ships, containers and pipeline sensors are other IoT use cases that could benefit.

Though sold by AT&T, the service can include cellular coverage in other countries through AT&T’s relationships with local carriers. The satellite coverage comes from GlobeComm, which resells airtime from the world’s major satellite providers. It will handle the setup and licensing for service in as many countries as an enterprise needs to operate in.

“If you come to AT&T, any satellite provider that’s out there we will offer you as a one-stop shop,” Polavarapu said.

Enterprises can already buy terminals from satellite companies that have cellular radios, then sign up for a mobile operator’s cell service. The unified service from AT&T will make sure a device uses cellular whenever possible, checking for a signal three times before shifting over to satellite, Polavarapu said. Because cell data tends to be less expensive than satellite, this should lead to lower bills, he said.

IoT devices will connect to the service using hardware that includes a cellular chipset and one or more modules for satellite services. AT&T and Globecomm plan to source these from multiple manufacturers and take advantage of economies of scale.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Imou: At home with security

Modern living is all about functionality and security for everybody from the very young to the very old. With Imou anybody can enjoy smart life – the solution is at their fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?