ABU DHABI - Thuraya, the mobility arm of the UAE’s flagship satellite solutions provider Yahsat; and eSAT Global today announced that they have successfully completed an over-the-air demonstration of low-latency, direct-to-satellite IoT texting system by transmitting low-power IoT (Internet of Things) messages over Thuraya’s satellite network (Thuraya-2 Satellite ‘T2’).

This milestone is the first of several milestones that Yahsat expects to achieve via its investment in eSAT Global and Thuraya’s agreement with the company to develop a next-generation IoT platform.

eSAT was able to send and receive messages of lengths of up to 320 characters over the T2 satellite with less transmission power (< 200 microwatts) than that used by a typical car key fob. This means that only minimal power is needed to transmit long-distance messages. The demo showed stable operations for a range of configurations, including those with a fingernail-sized antenna.

Other technologies, such as Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT), consume more satellite transmit power and bandwidth for the provision of similar texting and messaging services.

The reduced level of power and bandwidth consumption allow GEO-MSS satellite operators to regulate cost per message, generating significant savings for their customers, in comparison to other satellite-based messaging technologies. A further benefit of this approach is that very significant numbers of endpoint terminals can be simultaneously serviced under Thuraya’s coverage.

New revenue opportunities

The successful demo provides strong impetus to Thuraya’s and eSAT’s efforts to effectively utilise the resources of existing GEO-MSS satellites and thus unlocks a new avenue of revenue opportunities for satellite operators in the IoT and texting markets.

Yahsat’s Group Chief Executive Officer Ali Al Hashemi said, “This demonstration by Thuraya and eSAT Global underscores our mutual commitment to advance the fast-growing IoT sector. It is also a strong testament of the growing synergy between the business activities of leading satellite operators, with Yahsat and its mobility arm Thuraya at the forefront, and IoT solution providers.

Having only just invested in eSAT Global in October 2022, we are pleased by the pace of this development. The new capabilities that are being implemented in our existing M2M/IoT ecosystem will enable us to offer even more compelling IoT solutions to Thuraya’s customers.”

eSAT Global CEO Rick Somerton said, “Achievement of this milestone is a critical step towards mass market commercial service initiation later this year. Customers are excited by the news, and we are receiving enormous interest in this new capability well in advance of the launch. Our prospective sales pipeline is already greater than one hundred million dollars. Within two years of commencement of operations we expect to double the number of IoT devices currently connected to satellites around the world.”