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Skylo, maker of the world's most affordable and ubiquitous network that connects any machine or sensor, on Tuesday announced a partnership with Sony Semiconductor Israel (Sony, formerly known as Altair Semiconductor).
With this partnership, Skylo and Sony will be the first to develop and deploy cellular IoT chipsets (branded 'Altair') that can connect via geostationary satellites and that leverage the standardised, 5G-ready, NB-IoT protocol, according to a statement.
The partnership also makes significant contributions to 3GPP future specifications, which will help standardise and accelerate the adoption of NB-IoT over satellite.
In addition, this innovative new use of Sony's Altair cellular IoT chipsets dramatically reduces the cost for IoT applications to connect via traditional satellite networks.
Until the launch of this solution, satellite connectivity was cost-prohibitive and required custom-built protocols.
Skylo, which was founded in late 2017 by researchers including Andrew Kalman, is building an efficient, global NB-IoT network over satellite for millions of presently unconnected devices, machines, and sensors.
Sony Semiconductor Israel is a leading provider of cellular IoT chipsets and, through this partnership, both parties have extended existing cellular IoT chipsets to communicate directly over Skylo's hosted satellite network.
"For industries with assets deployed all over the globe - including marine vessels, vehicles, and industrial equipment - having access to a ubiquitous fabric of carrier-grade, affordable IoT connectivity that is enabled by Sony's Altair cellular IoT chipsets is a game changer," said Andrew Nuttall, Skylo's co-founder and CTO.
"This partnership ensures our ability to continue to quickly scale the manufacturing and deployment of connector Skylo Hubs to our customers around the world," he added.
"We are excited to work with Skylo and launch an entirely new IoT category for industrial machines," said Dima Feldman, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Sony Semiconductor Israel.
"We're impressed by the innovative way that Skylo has extended our chip functionality over satellites to expand the connectivity reach to the most remote locations and we look forward to helping Skylo bring billions of sensors online for the first time.
"In addition, the Altair field proven, ultra-low-power and ultra-small chipset solutions are ideal for the type of data exchange for industrial use cases," added Feldman.
This new geostationary satellite connectivity is a technological breakthrough for Skylo. Any customer who is building IoT into their remote businesses can use familiar technologies like Bluetooth and WiFi in order to connect existing sensors to Skylo Hub.
Skylo is launching commercially this year over South Asia and can be accessed using the Skylo Hub, which is a portable satellite NB-IoT antenna terminal.