Tunisian company announces plans for 30-satellite IoT network

04 July 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Tunisian company Telnet is planning to operate a fleet of Russian-made satellites for an internet of things (IoT) network.

The company will work with two Russian companies on the project: Sputnix to build the satellites and a subsidiary of Glavkosmos to launch them on a Soyuz-2 rocket (pictured).

Telnet CEO Mohamed Frikha said their aim is “not only to create new space technologies and telecommunication solutions that are in demand on the world market, but also to lay the foundation for the development of space industry in Tunisia”.

The companies say they expect to build and deploy a constellation of about 30 small satellites before 2023. Sputnix will help Telnet set up R&D and component production, with test labs to be deployed in Tunisia.

The satellites will use cubesat technology – a US-developed standard for satellites built in 10×10×10 centimetre blocks.

Vladislav Ivanenko, Sputnix director general, said: “We believe this project and this cooperation have great prospects. The IoT is growing very rapidly all over the world, and Sputnix is willing to participate in the construction and development of the IoT space segment.”

Alexander Serkin, CEO of Glavkosmos’s GK Launch Services unit, said: “To perform the launch, we will offer a Soyuz-2 launch vehicle configuration with the Fregat upper stage, which will ensure high accuracy of the orbital constellation deployment. It is important at that that the cost of the launch will be attractive to our partner.”