Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Thuraya, Viasat team up on asset tracking

Iain Morris
May 21, 2014
Logistics companies looking to monitor the performance of assets in remote locations are being targeted by a new partnership between satellite players Thuraya and ViaSat.

The two companies say they are teaming up to develop a managed M2M service targeting organizations in the logistics and enterprise sectors, among others.

One challenge for many logistics organizations is finding a connectivity solution in areas that are beyond ordinary cellular coverage, and the partnership seems likely to address this by taking advantage of the satellite communications services provided by Thuraya (Dubai, United Arab Emirates).

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

This could allow logistics players to make use of more advanced remote-monitoring and analytics services.

Thuraya and ViaSat 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 and ViaSat 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 various sectors.

“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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