Inmarsat to offer global satellite IoT in deal with Dutch st

Inmarsat to offer global satellite IoT in deal with Dutch start-up

13 October 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

Inmarsat has formed what it calls a strategic relationship with tiny satellite company Hiber to develop internet-of-things (IoT) services.

London-based Inmarsat says it will use its Elera IoT network, announced two months ago, to enable Hiber to bring IoT solutions and services to customers.

Hiber, based in Amsterdam and Delft as the Netherlands’ first commercial satellite company, launched two of its own in 2018, but always included the idea of using other operators’ satellites.

Hiber CEO Roel Jansen (pictured) – who took over from founder Laurens Groenendijk in March 2021 – said: “We are witnessing the kind of transformation not seen since the industrial revolution. This strategic partnership with Inmarsat creates the most powerful global network for IoT available and helps Hiber to focus on rural, remote and industrial IoT solutions, which is where the real life-changing innovation will happen.”

Jansen, former VP of sales at SurveyMonkey, added: “The partnership also gives Hiber immediate access to a global market, helps us accelerate our time to market, supports new industrial IoT solutions and widens access to cost-effective near real-time two-way communication on proven, reliable technology.”

Hiber indicated that, with the deal, Inmarsat will provide the satellite connectivity backbone on which it will continue to build Hiberband, its IoT network.

The agreement pairs Inmarsat’s Elera IoT network with Hiber’s IoT-as-a-service ecosystem to provide what the two companies called “easy-to-use, low power and cost-effective IoT solutions and services to transport, logistics, agriculture, mining and other industries worldwide”.

Inmarsat Enterprise president Mike Carter said the deal with Hiber will “provide the IoT connectivity backbone that will support and accelerate their development of proven industrial IoT solutions and services worldwide”.

Carter added: “Together we will extend the efficiency, sustainability and productivity benefits that IoT can offer to businesses in those areas where terrestrial or cellular connectivity is either unreliable or non-existent.”

Hiber will continue using its own proprietary protocols that allow for ultra-low power and low-data consumption levels to connect to Inmarsat’s Elera network and power its IoT solutions, said the companies.

The partnership will enable Hiber “to support a range of new industrial IoT applications and provide its customers with reliable, affordable connectivity even in areas without dependable cellular or Wifi network availability”.

Jansen added: “The partnership also gives Hiber immediate access to a global market, helps us accelerate our time to market, supports new industrial IoT solutions and widens access to cost-effective near real-time two-way communication on proven, reliable technology.”

Groenendijk, who earlier founded the Just Eat sandwich bar, left Hiber in March to focus on his investment activities, which include, according to LinkedIn, Chinese transport hire company Didi Chuxing as well as cryptocurrency firm Blockchain.com.

Hiber confirmed at the same time that it had secured €26 million in EU and private investment to expand its IoT satellite network.