SAN FRANCISCO – Skylo, a Silicon Valley satellite communications startup, announced a partnership on August 18 with Sony Semiconductor Israel, a company formerly known as Altair Semiconductor.
Through this partnership, Sony Semiconductor Israel and Skylo plan to develop and deploy cellular chipsets capable of connecting to geostationary satellite networks by taking advantage of narrowband Internet of Things (IoT) protocols.
“This partnership ensures our ability to continue to rapidly evolve the manufacture and deployment of Skylo Hubs connectors for our customers around the world,” said Andrew Nuttall, co-founder and CTO of Skylo, in a statement. Affordable and ubiquitous connectivity will be especially important for industries with assets spread across the globe, including ships, vehicles and industrial equipment, he added.
Skylo exited stealth mode in January with $ 116 million in the bank and plans to offer an inexpensive way for devices, machines, and sensors to transmit data over existing geostationary communications satellites. Skylo focuses on connecting devices such as fishing boats and tractors that often operate outside the range of cellular networks. Skylo investors include SoftBank, Boeing HorizonX Ventures and Innovation Endeavors, a company led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Altair, which was acquired in 2016 by Sony Corp., announced in July 2020 that it was changing its name to Sony Semiconductor Israel.
With this new partnership, Skylo and Sony will be the first companies to deploy cellular IoT chipsets based on narrowband IoT protocols established to work with 5G networks, according to the August 18 press release.
Moshe Noah, vice president of engineering at Skylo, said in a statement that the new partnership will support efforts to develop standards for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, a global effort to update communication protocols.
Skylo plans to start offering communications services later this year in South Asia. Customers have access to Skylo services through the Skylo Hub, a portable satellite communications antenna terminal.
Dima Feldman, vice president of product management and marketing for Sony Semiconductor Israel, said in a statement, “We are impressed with the innovative way Skylo has extended the functionality of our satellite chips to extend the reach of the satellite. connectivity to more remote locations eager to help Skylo bring billions of sensors online for the first time. “