Tech Blitz: Skylo Technologies “borrows” satellite communications to provide services at low prices with limited bandwidth

Co-founder and CPO (Chief Product Officer) Tarun Gupta talks about Skylo's business overview, product advantages, and future prospects.

Skylo Technologies “borrows” satellite communications to provide services at low prices with limited bandwidth

Skylo Technologies(Headquarters: California, USA) provides solutions for global IoT networks using artificial satellites. By using a narrow communication band standard, we have achieved low-cost use of satellite communications. It has also agreed to collaborate on non-terrestrial network solutions with SoftBank, which is also an investor. We asked co-founder and CPO (Chief Product Officer) Tarun Gupta about the business overview, product advantages, and future prospects.

Mr. Tarun Gupta has been involved in the telecommunications industry for a long time since the 1990s, and his career has progressed along with the development of communication technology. Mr. Gupta says that in the early stages of introducing network equipment such as optical fiber and mobile phones, services for high-income groups tend to be prioritized, and provision for low-income groups tends to be delayed. is “a way to provide equal connectivity to all people.” The history of the telecommunications industry over the past 30 years has been a journey towards achieving equality in communications so that all people can enjoy connectivity. 

Skylo is a network service provider working on this idea and making satellite communications available to everyone. Unlike SpaceX and other companies that launch new satellites to build communication networks, Skylo does not own its own satellites, but rather rents satellite communication bands from other companies to provide services. The company holds more than 85 related patents, and says that this technological foundation has led to its business advantage. 

The company's roots are in Stanford University's Space Systems Development Research Institute, and it uses groundbreaking NB-IoT (NarrowBand Internet of Things) technology via geostationary orbit satellites and communication reception equipment to create a ubiquitous network that connects even in the wilderness and remote areas. It provides networks for IoT. Since it uses the narrow communication band of existing geostationary orbit satellites, it eliminates the cost of developing and launching new satellites and investing in antenna equipment, making it possible to provide it at a low cost. As the cost of semiconductors for IoT devices that receive radio waves has fallen, it has become possible to utilize IoT sensors that are low cost and have long battery life. 

This makes it possible to communicate from places where standard mobile phone signals cannot reach, such as ships sailing on the ocean, mining equipment working in mountainous areas, trucks driving through the wilderness, and tractors working on vast farmlands. "We have a partnership with Softbank, and we can connect their terrestrial communications with our satellite communications. For example, when we go out to sea, we provide connectivity so that no matter where we are, we can stay connected," said Gupta. I'm doing it," he says.

Skylo's customers can be broadly divided into two types. One is mobile carriers like Softbank. Mr. Through large companies such as Amazon, we serve millions of end-users around the world for a nominal fee." 

Another customer is OEM hardware manufacturers who want to bundle connectivity with their IoT devices. ``Motorola Defy Satellite Link,'' released through a partnership with Motorola, won an award at ``MWC 2023,'' one of the world's largest mobile exhibitions. This is a device that allows existing mobile phones to be equipped with the ability to send SOS via satellite in emergencies without purchasing a dedicated terminal. In addition to sending SOS, you can also send regular messages.

"We actually saved a life with this product. When a person went hiking with this device and developed altitude sickness, we provided a way to contact them for help. "If you look at it, this is a great advancement. How many times have you wished you had this kind of connectivity?" Skylo Data Platform is a data analysis platform that can be used to monitor the location and operation of measuring equipment, and truck speed and fuel consumption.

“When it comes to logistics, it used to be common to track ships. Now we have moved to tracking containers, tracking pallets, and even tracking individual shipments. We can support all of this throughout the chain. By using a device the size of a coin, we can not only track logistics, but also livestock, pets, etc. 

"In such cases, abnormal vibrations can be immediately identified and predictive maintenance alerts can be issued. Another possible use is to monitor disaster conditions in dangerous areas that are difficult for people to access.

Skylo is expanding the Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) ecosystem with more than 30 partners, including chipset vendors, module manufacturers, satellite communication partners, and billing system providers. A huge number of IoT devices are manufactured around the world, and the expansion of the market is a major growth driver. In the future, we plan to increase the number of members, expand the service area, and further expand the ecosystem. 

Regarding expansion into the Japanese market, Mr. Gupta said, ``Japan has more than 14,000 islands, and we need connectivity for our fishermen and tourists, especially those who put their lives at risk every day.'' You can update your current mobile phone software to connect to satellites. We are working with mobile carriers to make sure all industries "We want to make sure that the service is available." 

Skylo aims to provide a seamless experience by combining both IoT and satellite communications. To this end, we are moving away from regionally limited activities and strengthening our presence as a global business operator. Our goal is to become the world's largest NTN operator. Mr. Gupta commented on the challenges towards that vision and his message to future users as follows:

"The biggest challenge is that many people don't know this technology exists. Connectivity with inexpensive communications satellites is not the future, it's available to businesses and individuals right away. Our aim is to , our goal is not to provide an alternative to mobile communications or Wi-Fi, but to give our customers even more choice.In fact, many customers say that the lack of connectivity in certain locations is their biggest problem. So we are working on it, covering the unserved areas and providing the perfect solution for our customers.”

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