Peter pan

Low-altitude terrestrial satellites drive ‘connectivity revolution’ as companies consider capabilities beyond broadband

Thursday, February 17, 2022 1:25 p.m.

A CGI image of a OneWeb satellite. (Credit: OneWeb)

After a global surge in deals for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, there is a “connectivity revolution” sweeping the UK and the rest of the world, analysts say.

LEO satellites currently outperform satellites positioned higher in Earth orbit due to their superior performance in climate monitoring, inter-vehicular networking and remote tracking.

“Venture capital deals in the LEO space saw a massive surge in 2021 with nearly 650% year-over-year growth,” said Kiran Raj, senior disruptive technology analyst at GlobalData.

“An unprecedented level of this funding is flowing into the space economy, beyond satellite communications, into companies to drive creative concepts and versatile use cases.”

Satellite darling OneWeb, which specializes in LEO technology, is set to launch manufacturing this year, having moved its development program from the US to the UK in a bold £2.2bn move.

The taxpayer-backed company today reached an agreement with Clarus Network to bolster OneWeb’s health and safety, asset tracking, environmental monitoring and crew scheduling offerings, in addition to its Internet connectivity operations.

“LEO integrated into mobile technologies such as the private 5G networks we are already deploying, will revolutionize how industries such as construction, energy and utilities can harness data to transform all aspects of operations by improving health. and safety, reducing production costs and reducing carbon emissions. ”, explained the general manager of Clarus, Derek Phillips.

The so-called connectivity revolution has gone beyond broadband speeds and 5G access and instead opened the doors for businesses to monitor farmland productivity, soil health, shipments of goods and the energy efficiency of their buildings.

The push for companies to be connected to their operations in other, more distant countries, and in real time, is expected to boost the LEO market and “pave the way for wider deployment of LEO infrastructure” in even more of industries, according to Sanchari. Chatterjee, principal analyst of disruptive technologies at Global Data.