Partnership to deliver highly integrated terrestrial and satellite IoT communications solutions

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u-blox and ORBCOMM, a specialist in IoT technology that focuses on the use of data, have announced a partnership to develop solutions for the convergence of terrestrial and satellite IoT communications markets.

The cellular and satellite IoT communications markets are growing rapidly and, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report (2022), the number of cellular IoT connections is projected to reach around 5.5 billion by 2028.

According to The Satellite IoT Communications Market report by Berg Insights, the market is expected to triple by 2025. Although so far growing independently, the potential of combining these two technologies is highly appealing providing gap-free global connectivity for IoT communications, including previously uncovered areas, becoming much more attainable for IoT deployers.

This partnership will bring the power of highly-integrated, dual-connectivity solutions to deliver on the promise of these markets’ fusion.

u-blox will directly integrate support for ORBCOMM’s satellite communication protocols into its UBX-R52/S52 LPWA (low-power wide-area) modem SoC (system-on-a-chip) providing a chipset that’s highly optimised, smaller, less complex, and that offers dual connectivity at a lower cost.

The chipset will be at the core of future u-blox module products supporting terrestrial LPWA and satellite IoT protocols, enabling connected solutions almost anywhere in the world.

“The UBX-R52/S52 chipset is a mature technology platform with proven market acceptance among IoT solution providers. Specifically designed for IoT applications with long lifecycle needs, it will further strengthen u-blox’s leadership in asset tracking. u-blox partnership with ORBCOMM will integrate satellite protocol support alongside cellular protocols. This integration will expand the addressable market for IoT applications, including remote locations without reliable cellular coverage,” explained Martin Leach, Head of Product Center Cellular at u-blox.

According to David Roscoe, ORBCOMM’s Executive Vice President of Satellite Communications and Products, “Pairing ORBCOMM’s proven satellite technology with u-blox’s innovative UBX-R52/S52 chipset will allow customers deploying IoT solutions in the supply chain, heavy equipment, and agriculture industries to benefit from ubiquitous coverage, device simplicity, along with optimal reliability and longevity.”

The collaboration between ORBCOMM and u-blox will facilitate the emerging demand from IoT deployers for solutions capable of connecting devices virtually anywhere on Earth, including remote locations, areas with poor cellular coverage, and isolated environments such as in the middle of the ocean.