Microsoft Azure enters Space market, Partners with Inmarsat to Deliver IoT and Cloud Services via Satellite

Microsoft Azure enters Space market, Partners with Inmarsat to Deliver IoT and Cloud Services via Satellite

Microsoft Azure and Inmarsat announced their partnership to allow Inmarsat’s customers to transfer data collected through their Industrial IoT solutions to the Microsoft Azure IoT Central platform.

Microsoft Azure customers can also access Inmarsat’s global satellite communications network. This gives customers an opportunity to use Inmarsat's reliable mobile/ satellite connectivity network and connect their IoT infrastructure to the applications running in the cloud.

Inmarsat is a leading provider of mobile satellite connectivity for Industrial IoT deployments. It owns and operates a global portfolio of satellite networks, specifically designed for customer mobility, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band, and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides.

Executive Opinion

Sam George, Director, Azure IoT said, “Microsoft Azure is being built as the world’s computer; extending the reach of our cloud through IoT and intelligent edge services. Our goal is to enable customers to take advantage of connected IoT solutions no matter where they are in their journey. With Inmarsat, customers across industries from agriculture to mining and logistics sectors. will benefit from the power of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge with global satellite connectivity in the most remote parts of the globe.”

President of Inmarsat Enterprise, Paul Gudonis, said, “Our relationship with Microsoft Azure will provide customers with the reliable global connectivity and cloud services they need to take advantage of the Internet of Things wherever they are. Industrial IoT solutions have the potential to bring transparency and intelligence to the global supply chain and by partnering with Microsoft we are making it easier and faster than ever for businesses from all sectors to exploit the technology and achieve competitive advantage.”

Use Cases and the Partnership

As technology has started advancing, businesses have started using satellites along with Governments. The use cases vary substantially including supply chains, satellite imagery, weather forecasting, and military purposes etc.

However, in order to download, process, store, analyze the satellite data still a lot of upfront cost is involved. The immediate and upfront costs include,

  • Building or leasing ground antennas across multiple locations and geographies to download satellite data
  • Processing Satellite data, local provisioning needs to be made in terms of computes, storage and networking
  • Building business rules and workflows to organize, structure the data. Then route the same data to employees or customers before it can be used to deliver insight.

In late 2018, Amazon announced its AWS Ground Station service to Process Satellite data for the very same purpose. AWS Ground Station service allows downloading data from satellites into AWS Global Infrastructure Regions using a fully managed network of 12 ground station antennas located around the world.

It is not surprising other big players in Cloud such as Microsoft are following the suit considering the industrial shift towards mobile and wireless market.

The announcement added that the recent collaboration will focus on the delivering Industrial IoT-based solutions to the agriculture, mining, transportation and logistics sectors, supporting digitalisation and visibility across the global supply chain. Customers can connect anything to anything, including remote physical assets to the digital world, the announcement added.


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Mandar is a seasoned software professional for more than a decade. He is Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech enthusiast. He writes to benefit others from his experiences. His overall goal is to help people learn about the Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech and the effects they will have economically and socially in the future.

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