The Internet of Things is Out of This World

Search on Google for “Internet of Things” and you will get more than 200 million hits.  That’s no surprise.  IoT is projected to grow from 15 billion connected devices in 2015 to 31 billion in 2020, according to HIS. Most of those devices will connect over terrestrial networks – but the ability to connect anywhere, anytime already depends on one of the earliest high-tech inventions: satellite. In this issue, we focus on satellite technology that is building an Internet of Things truly circling the globe.

Applications for the Industrial Internet of Things

Q&A with Julie McGowan, Senior Director, IoT and Wireless Sales, Globecomm

Julie will be speaking on two panels next week at the IoT Evolution Expo in Las Vegas.  On Tuesday, July 18, she will discuss Asset Management and on the following day, July 19, Managing Massive Data and its Challenges.  We spoke briefly with Julie about these topics, which are growing in importance.

Photo of Julie McGowan

Q: IoT offers industrial companies new and better options for protecting assets than in the past.  Among the most powerful is geofencing: the ability to track the location of valuable assets and establish a virtual “fence” around where they are supposed to be.  How does geofencing actually work?  And what can a company that provides satellite services do to enable it?

A: When an asset is outside an established Location Area (LA), Geofencing provides event triggered capability. For years, organizations have had no visibility of their assets when out of range. Misplaced and stolen inventory can potentially amount to millions of lost dollars per year for larger enterprise companies. Event triggering, or “customized notification,” whether an alarm, email, text, etc. provides an organization the ability to “act” on retrieving an asset.  The goal and outcome is to retain inventory and protect the bottom line.  Satellite access, because it is global, whether it is paired with cellular, WiFi or by itself expands the overall reach inside and outside of the LA.

Q: Managing massive data flows is the other topic that you will be talking about.  It is big challenge, from taking in data from outside to managing its flow through the enterprise and often out again, at least in some form. How do IoT systems capture and aggregate this data efficiently?  How can this increase business intelligence in the enterprise? 

A: The ideal scenario for an enterprise that is managing massive data flow

s is one platform for everything, including: provisioning, billing, invoicing, and network management, with the outcome, again ideally, of having more streamlined operations. That “ideal” is still largely a fantasy.  However, more than ever they need to strive for this goal.  It is vital that they do.  While managing data across multiple facets of organizations is challenging, we have found that an enterprise can get very close to its goal by taking five initial actions.  They are:

  1. Establishing detailed criteria for the data flows across the entire company (not just IT).
  2. Identify ways to store information for retrieval and distribution on a just-in-time basis.
  3. Discussions regarding how time-sensitive data is to be used for decision-making and for improving departmental and company-wide efficiencies in all areas of the business.
  4. A schematic for filtering information based on organizational roles.  These would naturally be prioritized by job title and function.
  5. Access to data regardless of location or geography. This is a critical IT task and possibly the most complicated task because every technical standard, protocol and software code will be unique.

Taking these five actions creates a baseline and results in a smarter, more information-based decision-making process, which translates into the delivery of not only better customer service, but also allows the data to be used to innovate upon new products or services regularly.

Q: If you were to look at the range of benefits that a company like Globecomm offers to a client as it relates to IoT, what would say are the major ones today?

A: I would say that our global reach across multiple verticals such as Wireless, Government, Enterprise, Media, and Maritime is significant, because the vertical overlap more and more.  Our experiential levels are higher because of this.  I would also say we have the benefit of having global roaming agreements in place for both cellular and satellite coverage.  We are a classic “one-stop-shop” for everything, ranging from application to connectivity to platforms.  We design it, build it, manage it and find ways to add value to it for your business customers.

Learn about Globecomm’s Industrial IoT Solutions.

Learn about the IoT Evolution Expo.

Shouldn’t They Call It the Satellite of Things?

Image to represent the satellite connection of things.

Your world runs on satellite, and you don’t even know it. The Internet, TV shows, maps on your phone, weather forecasts, food on your table, airplanes in the sky, electricity at your beck and call – they all depend on satellite technology to keep running. And so will the brave new world of the Internet of Things. In fact, let’s call it the Satellite of Things, because some of the most important links in the network will be to things that can only be reached via satellite.

Many of the things that need connection ride on wheels. The new generation of commercial vans and trucks are already filled with sensors that measure location, speed, engine performance, fuel consumption and other factors. An onboard hub communicates this data to a central server that gives the shipping company a minute-by-minute portrait of the location and health of its fleet and the performance of its drivers. The cellular network handles a lot of that traffic in urban areas but satellite is the only technology that can provide continuous coverage.

Read the full blog post.

Learn about Globecomm’s Industrial IoT Solutions.

Globecomm Expands Ku-Band VSAT Footprint to Offer Industry-Leading Coverage

Image of a shipping vessel. Globecomm announced today the further expansion of its Ku-band VSAT network, serving enterprise, maritime and government markets around the world.  Globecomm’s Ku-Band VSAT network – recently expanded to cover the Barents Sea, North of Scandinavia – will add South Indian Ocean coverage of the passage between the southern tip of Africa and Australia.

Globecomm VSAT customers have increased transit to these areas in recent months, leading the company to invest in the extended coverage.  The expanded network will provide 100% coverage of all major shipping routes to address new market demands.

Read the press release.

Learn about Globecomm’s products and services for maritime.

Shipboard Internet System Helps Shippers Keep Their Cool

Image of a ship on ocean water.

Globecomm is a pioneer in IoT applications for the maritime market.  It is a particularly demand­ing place to deploy the Internet of Things, because ship owners are highly sensitive to the cost of satellite connections to their vessels and IoT solutions depend on real-time communications around the clock.  In the ship owner’s cost-benefit analysis, the value of the cargo has to justify the cost of constant monitoring.

One kind of cargo that fits the bill is the refrigerated ship­ping container.  These units maintain a con­stant temperature to protect perishable goods – as long as they are supplied with power from a truck, ship or from a diesel generator.  There is high value in being able to ensure a shipper that the tempera­ture inside the container remained within the right limits, and IoT technology is the only way to do it.

Read the full case study.

Learn about Globecomm’s Industrial IoT Solutions.