French-based satellite IoT firm Kinéis announced a partnership with Actility to move data from its satellites onto the ThingPark Actility Internet of Things (IoT) LoRaWAN platform. But it doesn’t appear that Kinéis is actually going to run LoRA devices.
Currently, Kinéis operates 8 satellites and has around 20,000 IoT-ish “active terminals” using dedicated silicon with low power/low data rate two-way connectivity. The firm initially started up in 2019 as a commercial successor to the one-way Argos network, using legacy satellites and coming with an installed user base of international scientists studying oceans, climate, and wildlife. In 2020, Kinéis raised 100 million euros with plans to launch 25 cubesats, install 25 ground stations worldwide, and upgrade the IT infrastructure.
One pathfinder, Argos-Neo, was launched into orbit in December 2019, with more satellites expected to be launched in 2023 to replace the legacy Argos network.
The proprietary Kinéis network will connect with LoRaWAN infrastructure using Actility’s ThingPark RAN Exchange, the first global LoRaWAN peering hub in the IoT industry and currently connecting 20 LoRaWAN networks worldwide. Using ThingPark RAN exchange, data from Kinéis can flow through to existing cloud IoT platforms such as Microsoft Azure, AWS IoT Core, IBM Watson, Google CloudIoT, and PTC Thingworx.
“We talk about a hybrid connectivity, LoRaWAN and Kinéis data gathered by Actility for a seamless use, this is what Actility and Kinéis have achieved together, “said Rémi Ferrier, Kinéis Chief Product Officer. “Space IoT connectivity is the perfect ally of LPWAN networks, it completes coverage where terrestrial networks are not available (which represents about 85 % of the Planet) and brings an answer to the roaming question. We will launch a constellation of 25 nano-satellites in 2023 to upgrade the service of the 8 satellites available today, fully upward compatible with the thousands of devices connected today, including hybrid devices and data delivering to IoT platforms or cloud connectors.”
How successful Kinéis and Actility will be in working together is an open question, since a number of companies have developed satellite-based LoRaWAN solutions, including Lacuna Space’s direct-to-satellite system and Hiber’s LoRaWAN gateway. In addition, numerous companies are trialing LoRaWAN from space solutions including Fossa Systems, Innov Space, and Tunisia-based TELENET.