Eutelsat to launch satellites in IoT partnership with Sigfox

Eutelsat to launch nano satellites in IoT partnership with Sigfox

25 September 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Eutelsat is planning to launch 25 nano satellites in a partnership with wireless company Sigfox to serve internet of things (IoT) applications.

The company said it will spend €1 million per satellite in a project called ELO (pictured), starting with four satellites in 2020-21 and aiming for the total of 25 by 2022.

Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer commented: “Our partnership with Sigfox enables worldwide coverage through the combination of satellite and terrestrial IoT. This relatively modest investment at Group level, which is fully scalable, enables Eutelsat to access an additional potential growth lever in the context of its Connectivity strategy.”

The first two satellites will be made by Loft Orbital, based in San Francisco, and numbers three and four by Clyde Space, made in Glasgow. A Swedish company, AAC Microtec, bought Clyde for £26 million two years ago.

“These four satellites will enter commercial service as soon as they are delivered into orbit,” said Eutelsat. The company added that the project follows on from an initial nano satellite ordered by Eutelsat from Tyvak International, based in Turin, last year.

That is a test satellite, due for launch early in 2020, to look at the performance of various waveforms between a satellite in low Earth orbit and objects on the ground.

Eutelsat said it has signed a strategic partnership with Sigfox, so that data from connected objects can be captured by both terrestrial networks and satellite. Sigfox will integrate the global coverage provided by the new satellites constellation into its existing range of IoT connectivity services.

Belmer commented: “We are delighted to be completing the first steps of our ELO constellation project, aimed at positioning Eutelsat in the nascent IoT segment.