OQ Technology has started the first commercial contract for using their constellation of LEO satellites to provide 5G coverage for IoT devices.
The contract, close to 1 million euros, is with an unnamed customer that is described as one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. The initial customer service package covers the year 2023, with the option for future extension plans.
With this contract OQ Technology also introduces OQ-Secure, a reliable and flexible new product suite and the world’s first secure private network, providing 5G connectivity for IoT devices based on standardized 3GPP cellular technology for narrowband (NB)-IoT .
OQ-Secure is a fully private and secure network for companies requiring a complete private and secure end-to-end data pipeline while benefiting from 5G connectivity. It consists of hardware and software in space and on the ground without the need for further external intervention from other space or ground segments.
OQ-Secure is compatible with NB IoT mobile networks and can be integrated into terrestrial 5G networks. This allows customers of OQ Technology to manage and monitor their assets in a hybrid mode and expand the geographical foot print of their private 5G network on a global scale.
Through OQ-Secure customers can reserve dedicated access to OQ Technology’s satellite NB-IoT constellation as opposed to the shared service. It also includes deployment of the OQ ONE Nano gateways. These gateways connect to sensors using different wired and wireless standard interfaces. They allow direct communication with the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) network, core network and software suite that controls and manages the users and network traffic. The gateways provide a highly secure platform to manage the security aspects of the end-to-end solution. Users can also connect their unmodified standard 3GPP modules to the network.
OQ Technology will be deploying a large number of user terminals covering oil and gas well heads, allowing the customer to monitor performance, detect leaks and spillages, smart metering and track asset among other use cases. The company will also implement a 3GPP compatible network management suite, gateways to receive the data and manage and control users and assets, and a secure layer to keep the data safe. The network management suite allows the customer to have its own way of controlling data traffic, have the data directly sent to them, and directly command the satellite payload without any operator intervention.
As a result of OQ Technology’s plans to grow its constellation from three to ten satellites this year, customers — such as this oil & gas company — will be able to receive more daily transmissions. Together with more satellite launches next year, OQ is targeting near-real-time coverage. This low latency is critical for many applications such as environmental monitoring, smart metering, asset tracking and vehicle telematics.
“This commercial product suite and contract is the start of a whole new ballgame. In addition to funding and contracts to prove a certain technology, we are now making revenue based on our 5G IoT satellite constellation and delivering the services and products it can provide. The value of this single customer contract also shows the tremendous potential that our technology, products and services have. It is a multiple of what other satellite IoT startups have been trying to achieve over the years. OQ Technology already has a large pipeline of customers from different verticals and already started the process of converting that pipeline into paying customers. The new product isn’t just your ordinary satellite to terminal device network, but a fully-fledged product suite that gives our customers flexibility over their network management, security, ease of integration, and interoperability with their existing terrestrial cellular network. We encourage other enterprise customers to try and use the OQ Secure solution by applying to our early adopter programme where they will get first move benefits.” — Omar Qaise, founder and CEO of OQ Technology