Skylo and MediaTek add satellite connectivity to IoT devices

  • February 15, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

California-based non-terrestrial network (NTN) service operator Skylo and Taiwanese chipset maker MediaTek are helping IoT manufacturers develop devices, sensors and wearables with in-built satellite connectivity.

With MediaTek’s 3GPP NTN-standard modem and Skylo’s NTN service, smartphone and IoT manufacturers can offer connectivity experiences that weren’t possible before, such as being able to text without any gaps or loss in coverage resulting in deeper customer relationships.

MediaTek’s chipsets power over two billion new consumer and enterprise products each year, and provide integration, connection and power-efficiency. For those device manufacturers who need available chipsets with 3GPP NTN-capabilities, MediaTek has that capability, making it possible to integrate cellular and satellite connectivity into the same device.

Further, Skylo’s NTN service is also commercially available and the firm has done stress testing with MediaTek’s 3GPP NTN chipset to ensure always-on availability when the user has access to the open sky.

“The use cases for satellite connectivity based on 3GPP NTN standard are profound, and we have just scratched the tip of the iceberg as satellite and cellular converge for the first time,” said Cliff Lin, assistant general manager of MediaTek. “Our technology provides users with a tested, viable and consistent opportunity to contact loved ones and emergency services from remote areas. We will continue to work with Skylo to ensure that the chipsets we manufacture are compliant with industry standards and work on its commercial-ready and capable satellite network.”

Andrew Nuttall, chief technology officer for Skylo, added: “MediaTek’s 3GPP standards-based chipset with NTN is a major milestone in bringing ubiquitous connectivity to smartphones and subscribers across the globe. We’re honoured to support MediaTek and deliver a service to their OEM customers.”

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. Devices connected over satellite are managed and served by Skylo’s commercial NTN vRAN, featuring a 3GPP standards-based cloud-native base station and core.

Skylo works with existing satellite operators, terrestrial mobile network operators and device makers to provide subscribers anywhere, anytime connectivity that seamlessly roams between terrestrial and satellite networks. Its focus is on enabling connected services for people outdoors and connected workflows for machines at work across critical industries such as agriculture, maritime, logistics and mining, in addition to mass-market consumer devices.