Low-cost satellite network for ‘every person and IoT machine’

Low-cost satellite network for ‘every person and IoT machine’

Market news |
Small-satellite startup Swarm Technologies has announced details and pricing of its two-way satellite communications network, claimed to be available at a fraction of the cost of existing satellite solutions.
By Rich Pell

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Comprising a satellite modem and data services, the network, says the company, is the world’s lowest-cost global satellite communications network. It is designed to enable device connectivity that otherwise remains inaccessible for millions of people worldwide and is prohibitively expensive for many industries.

“Now, every person and IoT machine can have affordable access to two-way data services from any point on Earth at all times,” says Sara Spangelo, co-founder and CEO of Swarm. “Swarm’s global network enables customers to build their businesses and scale them globally overnight by harnessing the power of small satellite connectivity.”

The company’s satellite modem, the Swarm Tile, costs $119 and is designed to be embedded into a circuit board design. It connects IoT devices to the company’s network, providing two-way data transfer. The Swarm Tile, says the company, is compact, lightweight, and low power, and ideal for low-bandwidth, battery-powered use cases.

Access to the company’s data and communications network will be available for $5/month per device through a monthly subscription service. Its satellite constellation, says the company, will provide 24/7 network coverage for all points on Earth.

“We are rolling out the lowest-cost satellite data services in the world through the Swarm satellite constellation,” says Ben Longmier, co-founder and CTO of Swarm. “Replacing legacy satellite data providers, Swarm’s hardware and data services are now available at a fraction of the cost: Swarm can often be 1/10th the cost of existing satellite solutions, which opens up new markets for connectivity that previously could not afford it.”

Companies in precision agriculture, vehicle tracking and telematics, maritime and fishing, energy, and logistics industries have a clear need for its connectivity, says the company. As an example, the company cites comments from Ford Motor Company, which participated in a pilot program with Swarm to create a low-cost ubiquitous vehicle connectivity platform:

“Swarm is a critical Ford technology partner that is capable of providing the ‘anywhere and everywhere’ transmission medium for the connected vehicles of the future,” said Ford In a public letter of support to the FCC in July 2020. “[Swarm] will help ensure that Ford has the necessary coverage and throughput to serve connected vehicles even in the most remote locations, both in the United States and globally.”

More than 200 companies have already signed up for early access to join the Swarm network when it is scheduled to begin commercial services later this year.

Swarm Technologies

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