Truphone and Skylo partner to create ubiquitous cellular and satellite coverage across the globe
Truphone and Skylo today announce a world first at MWC Barcelona. The successful achievement links existing cellular devices with satellites, making seamless switching between satellite and cellular networks possible without special hardware. This major breakthrough in combining terrestrial and satellite connectivity moves communication technology closer to delivering on the promise of truly ubiquitous global connectivity.
Satellite communications previously required expensive modems and specialised antennas in order to access satellite coverage; this new connectivity uses existing equipment whose capabilities are expanded with a simple firmware update. In this partnership, Skylo, has successfully enabled ordinary cellular devices with Truphone SIMs to connect and transmit NB-IoT data via Skylo’s established satellite network, all without any additional hardware changes to the devices in order to create network orchestration.
Now, Skylo’s technology and core network, combined with Truphone’s MVNO capabilities, prove that completely ordinary narrow-band cellular devices can connect reliably from anywhere in the world by seamlessly switching over to a satellite network when they’re out of terrestrial coverage.
In this demonstration, Truphone subscriber devices were successfully able to connect and transmit data to and from Skylo’s satellite network (over existing geostationary satellites as far as 36,000 km in space), as if it were an ordinary terrestrial mobile network. Now, it’s been proven that ordinary narrow-band cellular devices can indeed connect reliably without the need for any hardware modifications. Skylo’s 3GPP standardised NTN base-station technology and core network, combined with Truphone’s MVNO capabilities have resulted in a new capability where end customer devices seamlessly switch over to a satellite network when they’re out of terrestrial coverage.
Truphone is providing connectivity to its customers by creatively combining satellite and cellular technologies into a single network, as another first in the industry.
This wireless milestone opens up a world of opportunities for end users of IoT devices by making it possible for them to access truly global coverage as the new default, no matter where they may be. Applications exist across remote sensors across a host of key verticals, including energy, asset tracking, logistics, maritime, and agriculture.
Ralph Steffens, CEO of Truphone said: “We expect that in a short while, subscribers will come to expect that there’s no such thing as gaps in coverage. Device makers will start to integrate their app-native location tracking, emergency messaging, and remote monitoring workflows assuming an always-available network. This demonstration shows how much can be achieved fast if you have the IP under one roof rather than a long supply chain of partners.”
Parthsarathi Trivedi, Skylo’s co-founder and CEO said: “Skylo has pioneered several firsts in blurring the line between cellular and satellite. Today’s announcement almost completely erases that line, which will generate a series of unprecedented connectivity experiences for consumers and enterprises alike”, said Trivedi. “Skylo has successfully collaborated with multiple Tier-1 cellular chipset makers and is engaged with the world’s top device makers including smartphones, wearable devices, outdoor & recreation products, asset trackers and sensors that could soon feature this seamless and ubiquitous connectivity all at single digit dollars per month.”
Skylo Technologies is a satellite network service provider based in Palo Alto, CA, offering a hybrid capability that allows off-the-shelf cellular NB-IoT chipsets and devices to connect directly over existing satellites. Devices connected over satellite are managed and served by Skylo’s commercial NTN vRAN, featuring a 3GPP standards-based cloud-native base station & core. Skylo works with existing satellite operators, terrestrial mobile network operators, and device makers to provide subscribers an anywhere, anytime connectivity solution that seamlessly roams between terrestrial and satellite networks. Skylo’s focus is on enabling connected workflows for people and machines at work across critical industries such as agriculture, maritime, logistics, mining and others, in addition to mass-market consumer devices.
About the Truphone eSIM
Truphone eSIM operating system implements GSMA specifications and is compatible with any GSMA-compliant remote SIM provisioning platform, including but not limited to Truphone's own GSMA-accredited remote SIM provisioning platform. This means that the eSIM can securely provision and store multiple operator profiles in a single secure element for both consumer and M2M devices.
Truphone eSIM supports the interfaces to provide remote provisioning and is aligned to the latest 3GPP, JavaCard, SIMAlliance, ETSI and GSMA specifications.
About the Truphone Network
Truphone's global network solution simplifies how devices connect to mobile networks. Its comprehensive, robust coverage connects to multiple network operators in every region and provides access to all network types on demand. Whether a device uses the connectivity for 10 seconds or 10 years, enabling default connectivity for a mobile device unlocks endless possibilities for how customers activate and manage their connected devices across the world.
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