In his recent M2M Evolution article on the benefits of considering satellite in IoT implementations, Crossfire Media’s Carl Ford reflects on a discussion with Inmarsat and asks “Why do companies not start from the standpoint of understanding that they can take advantage of worldwide reach?”
It seems simple enough, yet all too often we hear stories of vital remote assets left unmonitored, or network planners spending millions of dollars in local network infrastructure, instead of considering the option of satellite from the outset.
As Carl rightly points out, while satellite can represent a higher cost per transmission, it solves the problem of coverage. Plus, in many cases, reduced message overhead and exception based reporting of only critical customer data can keep satellite airtime costs in check. Either way, the costs of doing nothing and leaving critical remote assets unmonitored are invariably much higher.
That’s not to say that a cellular-only option isn’t right for many deployments. But regardless of the level of confidence in the cellular network, one of the most common pitfalls in remote M2M deployments is failing to plan ahead for cellular coverage shortfalls. Many enterprises find out too late that satellite backup is necessary to provide complete coverage.
At the end of the day you can’t have a complete IoT/M2M solution if you don’t pull all of your assets into the mix. Without ubiquitous coverage, you’re only getting part of the story.