Home5G & BeyondSateliot raising €100m to fund 5G NB-IoT smallsat fleet 

    Sateliot raising €100m to fund 5G NB-IoT smallsat fleet 


    The Spanish startup is promising to launch its first four commercial satellites by June

    Spain-based satellite IoT startup Sateliot hopes to buck the current trend of other failing satellite firms after announcing plans to seek €100m in equity and debt from private equity investors, funds and banks, according to media reports.  

    The startup, which partnered Telefónica last August, already has two test satellites in orbit, claims it has a book order worth about €187 million in annual revenue and its clients are mostly from countries with vast areas not covered by mobile networks, including Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia or Australia, CEO Jaume Sanpera told Reuters

    The company expects to launch its first four commercial satellites by June and by doing so, it will be able to invoice. Sateliot has spent about 25 million euros to develop, build and send in orbit, through SpaceX, the two test satellites and the first four commercial ones. Unlike other struggling smallsat providers Satelliot has heavy hitters backing it, even separate to the Telefónica tie-up. Shareholders include defence contractor Indra, Cellnex and the Spanish Government.  

    Starting in 2024, Telefónica aims to be the first MNO to provide to its customers with a NB-IoT everywhere-in-the-planet connectivity through a seamless combination of cellular and satellite standard NB-IoT network and with inexpensive commercial standard NB-IoT devices. Lat year, the companies showed that a standard roaming connection can be authenticated by the Telefónica core through Sateliot’s networks. 

    Sateliot’s patented “store & forward” two step authentication method was also successfully tested. The technology lets a satellite store data when it is out of contact with a ground station, forwarding the data when it comes back into coverage – important when a satellite constellation is still small and IoT applications are delay tolerant.   

    Sorting out partners 

    Sateliot recently signed an agreement with Turkcell to test and demonstrate connectivity to the IoT market on out-of- coverage areas in Turkey. Sateliot’s chief commercial officer Gianluca Redolfi pointed out that the standard approach allows any MNO to integrate satellite connectivity to their offering, just by a simple roaming agreement.  

    Last month, Sateliot worked with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) to connect a 5G messaging service through that satco’s commercial network, KSATlite, together with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Using AWS, Sateliot has built a fully virtualized cloud-native 5G core for NB-IoT non-terrestrial networks.  During 2023, Sateliot claims it closed agreements with “hundreds of IoT solution providers” to bring standard 5G satellite connectivity to their industries, digitising agriculture, livestock management, and maritime logistics, among others.