Inmarsat and ORBCOMM in M2M alliance

Inmarsat and global machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions provider ORBCOMM are to collaborate on joint product development and distribution to address the needs of the rapidly-growing satellite M2M market.

The strategic alliance will also see the companies investigate opportunities for future satellite network expansion and integration.

Inmarsat and ORBCOMM will work together to create a standard satellite platform and develop cost-effective hardware and flexible service pricing models for the global M2M industry.

Interchangeable modems 
ORBCOMM is currently building a series of interchangeable modems powered by its OG2 VHF network and Inmarsat’s L-band network.

These modems are expected to have the same footprint, connectors, power input and programming environment.

Manufacturers and partners will be able to drop in the appropriate modem that corresponds with either the ORBCOMM or Inmarsat network based on geography, message size and delivery speed for unrivaled ease of use and flexibility.

Dual-mode service
In addition, users will be able to take advantage of ORBCOMM’s relationships with tier one cellular providers for dual-mode service, including either satellite network.

ORBCOMM will also offer its unique Multi-Network Access Point Platform (MAPPTM), which seamlessly translates and integrates communications from its diverse network service partners into a uniform set of commands and information.

This will facilitate a uniform platform for provisioning, billing and multi-mode access for M2M applications, supported by Inmarsat’s M2M Access Platform, enabling access to network and terminal management tools for wholesale integration with ORBCOMM.

Fixed assets
These versatile offerings are expected to be available in ORBCOMM’s end-to-end solutions businesses in the heavy equipment, fixed asset and transportation industries, as well as through ORBCOMM’s Value-Added Reseller (VAR) and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) channels.

ORBCOMM will be leveraging off Inmarsat’s IsatData Pro – a satellite packet data service offering the highest payload and lowest latency in the market – and BGAN M2M, a 3G service offering real-time IP data at up to 512kbps on a single global SIM.

ORBCOMM and Inmarsat expect to distribute these solutions globally through their extensive commercial and government distribution networks.

Future satellites
Future opportunities could include leveraging technologies, capital expenditures, product development, satellite operations, and ground infrastructure support for future satellite deployments. Today, ORBCOMM operates a constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, and Inmarsat operates a constellation of geostationary (GEO) satellites.

“By working with ORBCOMM and leveraging their 20 years of expertise in M2M, we can round out our mobile communications offerings by delivering ORBCOMM’s dynamic M2M solutions and dual-mode network services to our global customer base,” said Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Our combined strengths will be unmatched in the satellite M2M space. We look forward to working with ORBCOMM to maximize our service offerings in the satellite industry and expand our footprint in M2M through our ground-breaking standard satellite platform.”

Compelling offer
Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “As the leader in satellite M2M, we are excited to team with Inmarsat, the industry’s largest MSS player, to set the standard for satellite solutions in M2M.

“Our goal with Inmarsat is to create a compelling offering for the M2M industry by developing a truly innovative, scalable and – most importantly – a standard satellite-based global M2M platform.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for M2M solutions companies to use the most appropriate network for their unique application needs without having to invest huge amounts of development time and capital in each capability.”

Inmarsat M2M: