In today’s world, connectivity is the new currency, with remote comms and IoT supporting many businesses with their growth and sustainability. However, connectivity also presents a challenge, especially for companies that have assets stretching far out of highly populated areas or are on the move. In this article, we share how hybrid data services can solve these challenges while delivering additional benefits for businesses using remote comms or IoT to facilitate their operations.
How do remote comms and IoT support business activity?
Now, more than ever, businesses rely on connectivity for their operations. Many companies have maintained their remote strategies post-pandemic, realising the efficiency, flexibility and cost benefits this approach offers. Employees also recognise the benefits of remote comms, with recent data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) revealing more than 8 in 10 workers are adopting a hybrid working approach.
However, remote comms is not just a strategy leveraged by people at desk jobs or in cities. On the contrary, companies with assets in lower populated or even uninhabited areas have been using remote comms and IoT to send and receive data on various elements of their operations long before Covid revealed their potential.
For example, transport companies, such as railways, use IoT monitoring devices to check their infrastructure’s condition, alerting them if there are any obstructions or hazards. Remote comms and IoT devices are also leveraged when monitoring their mobile assets, sending data on the condition or location of their goods as they travel across huge distances and often through remote areas.
Utility and pipeline companies, who also need to monitor infrastructure across far-reaching distances and often across borders, use a similar approach.
Remote comms and IoT also play a crucial role in agriculture. With farmers having large areas of land to manage, devices that can provide data on the temperature, water levels or the condition of their crops or livestock hugely reduce the amount of manual labour required.
However, for remote comms and IoT to deliver this critical data, reliable connectivity is required, which can be challenging.
The connectivity challenges of remote comms and IoT
In built-up areas, remote comms and IoT devices can deliver data via terrestrial networks. When assets are not far from the nearest communication tower, connectivity is pretty reliable.
However, terrestrial networks typically cannot provide sufficient coverage for industries that require connectivity in remote areas. Across mountains, deserts and seas, the infrastructure for terrestrial networks is almost non-existent.
Even where terrestrial coverage is available, the towers or cables are vulnerable to harsh weather conditions, natural or human-induced disasters or technical failures, particularly in these exposed areas and unforgiving terrains. When damage occurs, it can be both timely and costly to repair. Meanwhile, those relying on the coverage are left disconnected.
Using satellite to plug the connectivity gap
Satellite networks can support companies that face these connectivity challenges. Offering ubiquitous coverage resilient to harsh conditions, satellite companies can provide reliable, seamless connectivity across the area to support remote comms and ensure IoT devices can deliver the critical data needed.
But traditional satellite services can be expensive, meaning some businesses with smaller budgets struggle to get the connectivity needed to manage their remote operations.
How hybrid data services provide a more accessible solution
Hybrid data services combine satellite and cellular networks to address the challenges with coverage and reliability in remote areas while providing a more cost-efficient solution.
Our SYNERGY™ service harnesses the resilience of our S-band satellite services and the cost-efficiency of access to over 125 cellular networks to deliver a hybrid data service that ensures high-quality connectivity, whether in a highly populated urban area or far out in a remote region.
This service uses the Hughes 4510 S-band terminal to dynamically route traffic between terrestrial and satellite networks based upon path availability to deliver a more affordable solution. The terminals are also agile, user-friendly and ruggedised, making them ideal for providing hybrid data services for remote comms and IoT in hard-to-reach areas or mobile locations.
Hybrid data services add value when supporting remote comms and IoT to a wide range of industries that have either far-reaching infrastructure or assets on the move, including maritime, utilities, pipeline, transport and logistics and agriculture sectors.
For example, remote comms and IoT support the safety and efficiency of maritime vessels. Hybrid data services mean smaller ships with less budget and onboard estate can still access the necessary connectivity. They can use reliable satellite coverage to send and receive critical data when they are miles out at sea. Then, as they reach closer to shore, the crew can connect to cellular networks to contact friends and family at home.
At a time when connectivity and cost are two of many businesses’ top priorities, hybrid data services provide an effective and affordable solution that facilitates their operations for better efficiency, safety, growth and sustainability.
To learn more about how EchoStar Mobile’s hybrid data services can support your connectivity requirements, please get in touch with our team.