Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, is deepening its focus on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and will be showcasing its diverse M2M portfolio at MobileCON 2012 in the M2M Zone pavilion.
Inmarsat’s M2M portfolio features a broad range of devices and value added services designed to support typical remote monitoring and data collection needs across the market. The company has trained its focus on M2M communications in response to the growing global demand for uninterrupted, ubiquitous data connectivity that only satellite can provide.
“Satellite M2M services have traditionally been used by a relatively limited number of industries, those whose assets were entirely outside the reach of terrestrial networks,” said Joel Schroeder, Director of Inmarsat’s M2M programme. “We now see increasing demand from a number of companies in energy, finance and maritime as well as government entities who are recognizing the value and benefits of using satellite to connect remote devices.”
The emergence in recent years of 3G and 4G LTE networks has only enhanced the popularity of M2M communications, used across a wide range of industries for backhauling data from remote SCADA applications including remote monitoring, ATM connectivity, asset tracking, environmental monitoring, border control and more. However, even 3G and 4G networks have coverage limitations, and the increased demand for consumer data sometimes limits their availability.
Satellite, once regarded as a costly option for back-up and redundancy, has moved to the forefront for extending or, in some cases, completely replacing terrestrial networks as equipment and airtime costs have dropped and satellite reliability, at 99.9% network availability, is unmatched.
“Whereas satellite was once an afterthought, it’s now very much part of a company’s M2M strategy – not only to close gaps in coverage, but also to increase the reliability of communications - creating a truly seamless M2M environment,” Schroeder continued. “Because Inmarsat’s M2M services operate in the L-band spectrum, they are not subject to rain fade or impacted by other harsh weather conditions. The L-band also allows for a high degree of antenna pointing tolerance, simplifying installation and adding to the reliability of unmanned terminals in an open environment.”
Inmarsat offers the broadest M2M satellite portfolio of any L-band satellite operator. Its flagship service is BGAN M2M, which launched in February this year and offers real-time IP data speeds of up to half a megabit per second. For lower data rate requirements, the Inmarsat portfolio also includes IsatData Pro and Isat M2M, ideal for basic tracking and telemetry applications for fixed and mobile assets. Inmarsat’s M2M proposition leverages these robust service platforms, combined with the reliable benefits of an L-band network, to deliver a ubiquitous and reliable solution for remote, unmanned locations.