Vodafone announced that it has entered into a roaming agreement with Inmarsat, with the ambition to enable international satellite and cellular roaming connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT).
With its ubiquitous coverage and high network availability, even in extreme environmental conditions, satellite-powered IoT allows organizations to extend their services beyond terrestrial networks, where they have remote connectivity requirements, for example in the agri-tech, utilities, oil and gas and transportation sectors.
Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Access Network (BGAN) complements Vodafone’s current connectivity portfolio with lower bandwidth, lighter weight, more portable satellite terminals and satellite communications resilience in harsh weather.
The agreement will use the Inmarsat I-4 satellite network providing global L-band coverage and is weather agnostic.
“Deploying satellite connectivity to complement terrestrial networks for IoT applications changes the Internet of Things into the Internet of Everywhere. The growth in mission critical IoT applications, is driving demand for connectivity with unprecedented reach, range and reliability on a global basis”, said Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat. “This agreement marks a first for Inmarsat; enabling a mobile operator to utilise broadband roaming services on our global network.”
“Success in IoT demands a mix of different technologies for different applications. By adding satellite connectivity from Inmarsat to the Vodafone portfolio we continue to deliver on our strategy to lead in managed IoT services,” said Vodafone Director of IoT, Ivo Rook. “The IoT is transforming businesses in every sector and I am delighted we are able to support more of our customers in taking advantage of all that this technology has to offer.”
Earlier this year, Vodafone announced a new agreement to become a global IoT managed connectivity partner for Philips Lighting, a Royal Philips company and the global leader in lighting. Under the agreement, the two companies will enable city authorities worldwide to implement smart street lighting systems which will be connected wirelessly, saving energy and making maintenance easier and more efficient.
The Philips CityTouch street lighting management system will use Vodafone’s world-leading machine-to-machine (M2M) network to connect individual light points. Every connected street lamp will contain a Vodafone M2M SIM. City authorities can then monitor and manage lighting through a user-friendly and highly flexible system while engineers will be able to check performance, identify faults and control the lighting remotely.
The joint offering allows city authorities to create an infrastructure that is easily scalable, and will be able to support other smart city applications in future.