Spearheading a New Era of Satellite M2M Services

Phil Berry, Vice President, ViaSat, gives an update on its collaboration with Thuraya to develop a dedicated satellite machine-to-machine (M2M) platform to address the most challenging market requirements.

In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in M2M communications, and for good reason. Its vast business benefits, such as enabling higher production capacity and enhanced security, have spurred many companies to integrate M2M into their daily operations.

To tap into this emerging market, ViaSat recently entered a partnership with Thuraya to develop a highly secure, end-to-end managed M2M service to support diverse market applications. Targeted applications include the oil and gas sector, power grids, asset tracking and fleet management, as well as high-value point-of-sale and banking networks. The two companies aim to leverage their combined expertise to deliver a competitive M2M offering.

Phil Berry, Vice President, ViaSat, said: “ViaSat has a long history of programs that have enhanced and evolved military narrow-band technology in the United States and international markets. This invaluable experience is now being applied to our partnership with Thuraya. We believe Thuraya’s powerful satellite constellation and its RF gateway in Sharjah are key contributors to the superior capabilities our new M2M network can offer.”

ViaSat operates the latest state-of-the-art satellite networking that enables IP connectivity to small, inexpensive fixed and mobile devices. Together with Thuraya’s L-band network, this technology represents the potential for a disruptive M2M service that delivers more efficient utilisation of the satellite bandwidth. For instance, the ViaSat-Thuraya platform can accommodate a larger number of active M2M devices within a single beam, enabling energy, utilities, logistic and enterprise SCADA networks.

“We have developed a platform that can support a large number of M2M devices without requiring multiple satellite channels. In addition, the service brings greater value to customers with high security, high availability, low latency, multicast and push-to-talk capabilities. The combination of these unique capabilities in a single network enables new and improved M2M services for better situation awareness, and enhanced remote monitoring and mobile asset tracking operations,” Berry explained.

A core component of Thuraya and ViaSat's M2M strategy is to develop a secure service for government and military end-use. As such, this new M2M network provides the highest level of commercial encryption on all mobile data traffic, and can support the use of external encryption if required.

Berry is highly optimistic that the Thuraya-ViaSat service will have a profound impact on core M2M market segments, especially in providing M2M application developers with the ideal platform to develop new IP-based applications and services.

"This partnership has the potential to lead satellite M2M services into a new era. We will continue working with key industry players to improve on existing applications, and at the same time facilitate the development of new, innovative ways of managing and monitoring fixed and mobile assets," Berry concluded.


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