Kigen and Skylo make satellite connectivity frictionless

  • February 8, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Irish IoT security company Kigen is working with California-based Skylo, a satellite network or non-terrestrial network (NTN) operator, to make satellite connectivity integration frictionless for device makers.

This should allow for seamless transitions between cellular and satellite connectivity via Skylo’s SIM profile. The combination could be particularly attractive for devices used in difficult environments, where relying on terrestrial cellular networks alone can be problematic, and is being adopted by rugged technology company Bullitt.

This breakthrough form of connectivity over satellite leverages the latest 3GPP NB-NTN standards. Skylo chose Kigen as a fast-moving and flexible enabler of digital SIMs, proven with over two billion SIMs. Kigen has existing integrations and adoption by carriers. This is in line with a focus on growing the cellular market and unlocking secure IoT use cases for enhanced customer experience with the future of SIMs.

“We don’t require any change in behaviour when you use our satellite network, as compared with when you use your terrestrial cellular network,” said Andrew Nutall, chief technology officer for Skylo. “To that end, working with Kigen has allowed us to make our network extremely accessible using the same supply chains and processes that are well established across the cellular industry today, requiring minimal to no change in behaviour for device makers who want to build Skylo’s connectivity into their devices or for enterprises who want to add satellite connectivity to their compatible IoT devices.”

Skylo is built on top of the established and open 3GPP standards, using existing satellites with licensed spectrum together with existing modems inside devices, without requiring custom hardware and protocols. By being standards-based, Skylo is 100% interoperable with all terrestrial carriers today, and its patented NTN RAN, core, SIM management and provisioning system and entire end-to-end tech stack builds on top of the standards to make satellite connectivity as simple as choosing the right carrier and data plan.

“Skylo’s service has allowed cellular devices using our SIMs to extend users’ coverage onto satellites,” said Loic Bonvarlet, SVP for Kigen. “This is a huge step towards democratising global connectivity. Using the same onboarding, provisioning and SIM authentication processes that our OEM customers are familiar with today allows them to get to innovative products faster.”

Skylo Technologies is an NTN service provider based in Palo Alto, California, offering a service that allows cellular modems and devices to connect directly over existing satellites.

Kigen and Skylo will be together at the Mobile World Congress this month in Barcelona.