Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Thuraya, Viasat partner on M2M for energy, utility sectors

Iain Morris
May 20, 2014
Satellite players Thuraya and ViaSat have teamed up to develop a managed M2M service they say will target customers in the energy and utilities sectors, among others.

The companies say their aim is to develop a “highly competitive offer” for the satellite M2M market that will be ideal for end users across the energy, utilities, logistics and enterprise sectors.

They plan to launch the service in early 2015 and say they will work on recruiting M2M application developers and further augmenting distribution capabilities between now and then.

In a statement, Thuraya (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and ViaSat (Englewood, CO, USA) said they expect M2M to be a key growth engine for satellite services in the next few years, and that they already have a vision for a faster and more secure offering that would address the higher-end requirements of the energy, enterprise and military sectors.

Thuraya serves land mobile and martitime markets with a network that covers Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, while ViaSat has developed a technology intended to use satellite bandwidth more efficiently to lower costs and open up new M2M application opportunities.

An obvious addressable market for the satellite players would be oil and gas companies that want to make use of remote-monitoring technology in areas beyond the reach of cellular networks.

“Thuraya recognizes that one of the key drivers of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the growing adoption of M2M technology across industries,” said Randy Roberts, the vice president of innovation at Thuraya. “The partnership with ViaSat will enable us to broaden our M2M product portfolio, for both fixed and mobile applications, to better serve our enterprise users’ need for asset tracking and remote monitoring services.”

“The strategic partnership with ViaSat will address this through a proven, highly secure, cost-effective and reliable M2M platform to manage these processes effectively,” he added.

ViaSat described Thuraya’s network infrastructure as the “ideal platform” for the M2M service.

“That dependability is crucial when access to connectivity has to be quickly established, even in remote locations, to facilitate tracking, reporting, and monitoring,” said Phil Berry, the vice president of ViaSat MSS.
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