- Satellite Evolution
OHB, LuxSpace and OQ Technology sign MOU to explore collaboration for IoT services
OHB SE (OHB), one of Europe’s leading space companies, its subsidiary LuxSpace, a provider of space systems, applications and services, and OQ Technology (OQ), a global satellite operator, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore opportunities in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) service sector.
The cooperation between LuxSpace, OHB and OQ will include satellite-based IoT upstream and downstream activities to enhance the portfolio of services available to customers in different markets, including, but not limited to, energy, agriculture, defence and the green economy.
Following the signature of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) under the ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications System) programme, LuxSpace is developing a flexible microsatellite platform, Triton-X. With a launch mass of around 200kg, high performing on-board processing and the optimisation for rideshare missions, Triton-X is perfectly suited for accommodating OQ’s 5G IoT payload in low Earth orbit (LEO). At the completion of the development phase, the platform is expected to be ready for manufacturing and integration of payloads by mid-2023.
OQ’s “cell towers in space” and the company’s services are ideal for applications requiring fast and real-time data processing in remote and rural areas, particularly in industries such as oil & gas, logistics, mining, artificial intelligence, drone control, vehicle telematics and defence. The agreement will also take into account the use of other OHB space systems for the benefit of OQ.
Egbert Jan van der Veen, managing director of OHB Venture Capital said: “OQ Technology is one of the most promising companies in the area of Satellite IoT we have talked to. I am very excited about the potential of their technology and looking forward to working together with the team on the upstream as well as the downstream.”
Edgar Milic, CEO of LuxSpace, said: “These are amazing times in the commercial space sector. The roll-out of new applications from space is accelerating thanks to ground-breaking satellite technologies like Triton-X and the vision of satellite operators like OQ Technologies.”
Omar Qaise, founder and CEO of OQ Technology said: “Being recognised by OHB, one of Germany’s leading space and technology companies, and its subsidiary LuxSpace demonstrates the strength of our technology and the potential it offers to the global IoT market.”
OQ is the only company in the world that uses standardised 3GPP cellular technology for Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and standard mobile chips to connect devices to satellites. By using standard mobile chips, costing about US$5 instead of expensive satellite chips of US$150 and more, OQ is able to offer substantial cost savings. That means users do not need to develop new hardware and can buy existing NB-IoT supported devices to get service in remote areas from OQ Technology.
Last year, OQ launched its first commercial nanosatellite, “Tiger-2”, and used it to successfully test its hybrid satellite-cellular user terminal in harsh desert conditions. OQ Technology is looking to add further satellites to its constellation this year.
Through its growing constellation OQ can provide full coverage for its 5G IoT customers cost-effectively and with exactly the same NB-IoT equipment their customers are using today through a single roaming agreement.