India’s government-owned telecommunications provider BSNL has formed an alliance with SkyIo to deliver ubiquitous connectivity that would link millions of unconnected machines, sensors and industrial IoT devices across the country.
As part of this latest partnership, SkyIo – which builds end-to-end solutions connecting machine and sensor data via satellite – had developed a new, satellite-based IoT data mobility solution designed especially for the Indian market.
Touted to be the world’s first 5G NB-IoT network over satellite, the new solution will connect with BSNLs satellite- ground infrastructure and provide PAN-India coverage, including Indian seas. Network coverage will span the whole of India, from Kashmir & Ladakh to Kanyakumari, and from Gujarat to the North East, including the Indian seas.
The network is accessible across the sub-continent and is being rolled out with select customers in government and private sectors.
This breakthrough announcement is very timely because it comes during the ongoing Indian Mobile Congress 2020. This new technology supports the Department of Telecom and NITI Aayogs plan of bringing indigenous IoT connectivity to India’s core sectors. Examples of where this technology has already been tested successfully include, Indian Railways, fishing vessels, and enabling connected vehicles across India.
“Our vision is to leverage technology to provide affordable and innovative telecom services and products across customer segments,” said Sh. P. K. Purwar, CMD, BSNL. “With our pan-India presence and Skylo’s new solution, we now have an unparalleled opportunity to serve previously underserved industries by bringing an affordable and easy way to connect IoT sensors anywhere in India. We are confident that this will lead to tremendous efficiencies and new ‘connected’ business models for players in these industries and with their progress, India's growth story will get a boost.”
Skylo’s new solution is currently being integrated and tested on trucks, commercial vehicles, railways, and fishing vessels in India. Manufactured under the “Make in India” initiative, Skylo has leveraged cellular-grade hardware to communicate over satellite, resulting in highly affordable, easy-to-install rugged hub devices, and an immersive dashboard to be able to access information from remote locations on mobile devices or desktops. Skylo leverages existing satellites to bring reliable connectivity without the need to add new infrastructure in space.
Making Digital India a reality
With their partnership, BSNL and SkyIo are doing their share to advance Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vison of a truly Digital India linking millions of sensors and machines from space to allow business owners to understand, manage, and predict what is happening in order to make smart and timely decisions.
“For centuries, industries including agriculture, railways, and fisheries, have been operating in the physical world and haven’t had the opportunity to take full advantage of modern digital technologies like AI, machine learning, IoT, and space connectivity, regardless of their geography -- until today,” said Skylo CEO and co-founder Parth Trivedi. “With Skylo and BSNL, fishermen, farmers, and truck drivers can access the benefits of an affordable, reliable satellite network and connected sensors, giving them up to the minute information. As a result, they’ll be able to make better decisions, save time and money, radically improve operations, and even save the lives of their workers.”
“Being able to affordably connect IoT devices, vehicles and vessels across the country is a transformative capability for India,” he added.
Whether equipping tractors or fishing boats, train cars or trucks, mining equipment or electrical grids, Skylo connects machines so they can start sharing data through the Skylo Hub. A small, smart, incredibly rugged box, the Skylo Hub reads sensors and transmits data to the Skylo Satellite Network which then sends data where it belongs: into people’s hands. The immersive Skylo Platform provides a visualised experience via mobile and desktop and gives users the ability to take immediate and appropriate action.
The new digital machine connectivity layer will serve as a complement to smartphone-centric mobile and Wi-Fi networks, and covers India’s full geography to bring online new applications for the first time.
Shri Vivek Banzal, director (CFA), BSNL Board, said: “Successful POCs have already been conducted by BSNL and Skylo in India and we will soon approach various user groups before the New Year 2021 begins.”