Satellite IoT startup OQ Technology secures funding, plans first satellite

Luxembourg-based OQ Technology announced it has secured enough funding to build its first demonstration satellite. The company joins at least 19 others satellite Internet of Things (IoT) building new services.

“This project showcases both the capabilities of and the collaboration potential among the actors of the national space sector,” said Marc Serres, CEO of the Luxembourg Space Agency. “Creating effective partnerships on national level contributes to build a thriving ecosystem in Luxembourg that stimulates innovation and accelerates the evolution of business in space.”

OQ Technology has secured around 6 million euros, with funding provided by the LuxIMPULSE national space program and the European Space Agency (ESA). The company will be working with EmTroniX and GomSpace to build its system. EmTroniX will develop the satellite payload and user terminal hardware while GomSpace will design and build the satellite platform.  OQ will be developing and designing the full IoT system, developing the software for the onboard satellite payload and user terminals and finally demonstrating the satellite and the data analytics platform.

Founded in 2016, OQ has been supported by Luxembourg Space Agency, Ministère de l’Économie – Luxembourg, and ESA. The company is targeting oil and gas, maritime, industry 4.0 and transport segments for its services for tracking and managing assets in remote areas and providing what the company calls “high-value” data analytics.

Details on how many nanosatellites OQ plans for a production constellation have not been announced or a timetable for moving from in-space testing with the first demonstration satellite to production services.

Like many other new satellite IoT start-ups, OQ says it is using “innovative” wireless technology and using low-cost connectivity based on cubesats, promising “ultra low cost” data plans.

OQ joins an increasing crowded field of satellite IoT start-ups and is doing so against companies who have launched or will soon launch pathfinder satellites by the end of the year, including Astrocast, Fleet Space Technologies, Helios Wire, Hiber Global and Kepler Communications. With OQ and newly announced entrant Kineis, there are now at least 20 satellite IoT start-up companies planning to build constellations offering global coverage at drastically lower cost than current offerings.  

Doug Mohney

Doug Mohney, a principal at Cidera Analytics, has been working and writing about IT and satellite industries for over 20 years. His real world experience including stints at two start-ups, a commercial internet service provider that went public in 1997 for $150 million and a satellite internet broadband company. Follow him on Twitter at DougonTech or contact him at dmohney139 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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