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Helios plans satellite-based IoT and M2M service

Steve Rogerson
October 19, 2016
Canada’s Helios Wire is designing and building a space-based IoT and M2M service for market applications that require low bandwidth and low service costs. The system will target both existing and emerging IoT and M2M applications, including the monitoring and controlling of fixed and mobile assets in the transportation, consumer, logistics, security, public safety, energy, industrial, animal management and agricultural industries.
There are an estimated ten billion devices connected to the internet. The IoT is projected to connect an additional 24 billion devices by 2020, far outstripping phones, tablets or traditional computing devices combined. In addition, nearly $6tn will be spent on the IoT over the next five years.
The industrial IoT is often considered expensive, complicated, or only for large global companies and governments. The vision of Helios is to democratise the IoT and make it available to everyone by using an allocation of priority mobile satellite system (MSS) S-band spectrum and a two-way global satellite-enabled system for low cost short burst data services covering connected assets.
"Although we've all heard of the internet of things and may even have a connected device or two in our homes, it is often thought of as a service that is used by large, multinational companies and is technically difficult," said Scott Larson, CEO and co-founder of Helios. "What we are doing is taking that connectivity and presenting it as a service and set of applications that can be used by anyone, even smaller business or everyday consumers. The next step will be taking all of those data and facilitating actionable insights based using that information."
Users need low-bandwidth IoT connectivity and ease of use with an emphasis on data-analytics and actionable insights in industries such as agriculture, oil and gas, utilities, and remote asset monitoring. This service will also give individual consumers the opportunity to track and monitor things in their everyday lives, all via the IoT.
At its core, Helios is a vertically integrated satellite-enabled monitoring and messaging service that will track and provide communications with up to five billion transmitters, through 30MHz of S-band spectrum. These transmitters can be attached to remote assets, trucks, agriculture equipment, oil and gas pipelines, fleets, boats, industrial applications, wildlife, or virtually any other asset. This M2M communications backbone will be made possible by the launch of a constellation of non-geostationary small satellites.