A recent press release by IoT and M2M service company, OQ Technology, based in Luxembourg announced successfully testing Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT) waveforms and synchronization procedures using a GomSpace’s GOMX-4A and GOMX-4B nanosatellites.
The mission also termed as Tiger mission which was approved and signed on 26 July 2019, demonstrated NB-IoT technology using Software-defined Radio payloads. The waveforms were uploaded to test the performance, paving the way for Software-Defined Radio payloads as a service to provide connectivity.
OQ Technology has successfully performed a “first-in-the-world” test of a 5G IoT technology over Cubesats, and a “first” in using Orthogonal-Frequency-Division Multiple Access waveforms in a nanosatellite. OQ Technology will further experiment as a part of the Tiger mission over the next 3 months to optimize the link and system performance. NB-IoT is a challenge for Low Earth Orbit due to high Doppler and delay environments. The technology development has been partly supported by Luxembourg government through the LuxIMPULSE programme.
According to NSR the global M2M and IoT via satellite market will reach around 6 million in-service satellite M2M/IoT terminals by 2025, corresponding to nearly $2.5 billion in annual retail revenues. With growing data rate demand for the M2M/IoT, the advent of new IoT/M2M communication standards with low cost transmitters and gateways, it is hard to envision SATCOM or even LTE to be utilized solely for each individual IoT/M2M. Hence, NB-IoT can prove to be a revolution and all the economics feasibility will come down to how fast the ground segments can cope up with.