LoRaWAN IoT network delivered by Inmarsat and Actility

By Critical Comms Staff
Friday, 10 February, 2017

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The Inmarsat LoRaWAN-based network is working on a strategy to deliver the Internet of Things (IoT) around the world.

Developed in partnership with Actility, early applications in asset tracking, agribusiness and oil and gas are helping remote businesses become more efficient.

The network allows customers and partners to cost-effectively bring to market IoT solutions that can be delivered anywhere in the world, to any type of business, with LoRaWAN-based connectivity on the ground and satellite connectivity as the network backbone.

The integrated platform provides an end-to-end system that transmits site-specific data to applications in the cloud for analysis, delivering insights, supporting decision-making and creating value for the end customer.

“These three early applications are indicative of the Industrial IoT market in general. Businesses don’t need an off-the-shelf IoT solution for agribusiness or asset tracking; they need a specific solution for a specific problem,” said Paul Gudonis, president, Inmarsat Enterprise.

Asset tracking involves tracking the location, movement, health and other key statistics of cattle on a remote ranch in Australia, replacing the manual process of sending an employee to look for cattle that have strayed. An alert is sent out to the ranch manager when an animal is at risk of being lost, behaving erratically or nearing the perimeter of the ranch, enabling the owner to take immediate action.

Meanwhile, agribusiness involves monitoring the water levels in reservoirs and soil moisture at the roots of plants across the breadth of a large, remote palm oil plantation in Malaysia to deliver water where it is most needed and achieve maximum crop yield. This enables smarter resource management in an area and reduces the amount of land required for production.

Finally, oil and gas involves remote monitoring of oil platform processes where cellular coverage is patchy or non-existent to identify potential failure points so that they may be addressed and costly downtime can be avoided. An upstream production site continuously measures operational parameters and transmits them to a control room, where a SCADA system adjusts set points and provides control settings.

Actility is also now part of Inmarsat’s Certified Applications Provider Programme (CAPP), which allows third-party companies to develop applications and solutions that are compatible with Inmarsat’s satellite communications network.

“Actility has worked on many large-scale, nationwide LPWA network deployments, but this is bigger. We’re fantastically excited about being part of the first truly global IoT network in partnership with Inmarsat,” said Actility CEO Mike Mulica.

Image credit: ©Everythingpossible/Dollar Photo Club

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