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.