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IoT vendor Ingenu plans 72 LEO satellite launch using Phantom Space

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Omnipresent signal will give 'best IoT technology for the non-licensed spectrum' claims CEO

Mobile operators using the Will allow mobile operators using 2.4Ghz spectrum are to get a new option for winning enterprise M2M contracts.

Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Ingenu has commissioned the Phantom Space Corporation to build and launch 72 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites) in a mission to build the world’s largest industrial network in space.

Branded as AFNIO, the satellite constellation allows Ingenu to sell connectivity to machine to machine (M2M) installations on all points on the earth through its use of the universally popular 2.4 GHz band, used by 50 terrestrial networks around the world.

“This partnership brings both of us closer to our goal of providing the much-needed disruptive benefits of space technology directly to the consumer," said Jim Cantrell, CEO of Phantom Space.

Works best for LPWANS with RPMA

Initially the target market will be users of low power wide area network (LPWAN) applications using Ingenu’s random phase multiple access (RPMA) technology, a proprietary utility which aims to maximise capacity.

Analyst Euroconsult says the market for non-geostationary services will reach $30 billion by 2030. Analyst Mordor Intelligence predicts the global LPWAN market will grow $6.33 billion in 2020 to $250 billion by 2026 a compound annual growth rate of 85 per cent as IoT and M2M apps are adopted, with the biggest growth coming from utilities.

According to Ingenu the first customers that could use this service will be enterprise-scale public and private organisations, running smart grids, manufacturing, farming, oil, gas, mining, running logistics and asset tracking.

Follows OneWeb LEO trajectory

Ingenu CEO Alvaro Gazzolo promised full end-to-end solutions anywhere on earth that would complement existing customers' terrestrial networks. “Nothing of the sort has ever been done up until now,” said Gazzolo.

Ingenu is following the trajectory of UK-based LEO player OneWeb, which paid the price of pioneering when it filed for bankruptcy in March 2020. Though it was rescued by investment from Bharti Airtel and the UK government, critics said this was an act of backing the wrong player in the space race.

However further investment came from SoftBank and Hughes Network System, bringing its total backing to $2.4 billion and, as its fortunes revived it expects to launch 648 satellites by the end of 2022. 

Traditionally Ingenu has kept its IoT feet on the ground, but it also had to survive funding difficulties in 2017 and in 2019 it announced it had $2 billion worth contracts, based on its version of LPWAN 2.0 for industrial M2M. Gazzolo had claimed Ingenu offered the “best IoT technology for the non-licensed spectrum”.