A demo satellite will be launched early next year with the first four operational satellites to be developed under the supervision of Loft Orbital and Clyde Space.
The operator says the boom in the so-called Internet of Things market across as transport, oil and gas, and agriculture will require tens of millions of objects to communicate with each other. Eutelsat’s ELO constellation will offer global IoT coverage enabling objects to transmit data, irrespective of their location.
Eutelsat has signed a strategic partnership with Sigfox, which already runs a narrowband network in the IoT segment across 65 countries. Sigfox will integrate the global coverage provided by the ELO constellation into its existing range of IoT connectivity services.
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat commented: “We are delighted to be completing the first steps of our ELO constellation project, aimed at positioning Eutelsat in the nascent IoT segment. Our partnership with Sigfox enables worldwide coverage through the combination of satellite and terrestrial IoT. This relatively modest investment at Group level, which is fully scalable, enables Eutelsat to access an additional potential growth lever in the context of its Connectivity strategy.”
The construction of this nanosatellite constellation will begin with a first series of four satellites from Loft Orbital (ELO 1 and 2) and Clyde Space (ELO 3 and 4). They are expected to launch between 2020 and 2021. If the initial make up of the constellation is successful, further satellites will be launched up to a total of 25 operational satellites by 2022.