Space start-up OQ Technology eyes satellite launch


The satellite launch is expected no earlier than June. Photo: OQ Technology 

Luxembourg-based start-up OQ Technology, which specialises in internet of things connectivity, will launch its first nanosatellite this summer after signing an agreement with Spaceflight. 

“The mission represents a significant milestone for us. It will be the first step in extending cellular 5G coverage beyond terrestrial cell towers. What makes OQ Technology different is its combination of cellular and satellite technologies, providing coverage in poorly connected areas with a low-cost solution that can match existing but expensive M2M and VSAT satellite products,” said Omar Qaise, founder and CEO of OQ Technology in a statement.

Following an on-orbit technology demonstration mission in 2019, the new Tiger-2 missions will be the OQ Technology’s first commercial satellite to launch, out of a constellation of more than 60 show-box sized satellites.

The constellation aims to provide the world’s first pole-to-pole 5G coverage network dedicated to machine to machine (M2M) and internet of things communication.

“The company plans to target the cellular IoT communication market, oil and gas, maritime, Industry 4.0 and transportation segments, autonomous cars and drones, for monitoring, control, and asset tracking in remote areas,” OQ Technology said in a statement.

“Its 5G IoT constellation provides a unique value for low latency applications, critical for 5G, as the satellites are in low earth orbit and provide few milliseconds latency communication, which traditional GEO satellites operators cannot do.”

The launch is expected as part of the SpaceX Transporter-2 mission, scheduled no earlier than June 2021.

According to consultancy Omdia, the installed base of satellite IoT connections is expected to nearly quadruple over the next few years, from 2.7m units in 2019 to 10.3m units in 2025, an annual growth rate average of 25%.

Revenue from this market is expected to more than double over the same period, with global IoT satellite connectivity activity reaching $544m in 2025, from $233m in 2019.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.