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Pain Points and Prospects of the Satellite IoT Industry

Pain points of the satellite IoT

The satellite IoT has always faced technical difficulties such as limited spectrum resources, communication interference, satellite-ground fusion, routing switching, and long-term power supply, due to the limitation of satellite frequency resources, power resources, processing capabilities, as well as the volume, weight, and energy of the on-orbit payloads. In the process of commercializing the satellite IoT, in addition to solving these technical difficulties, cost, security and standard protocols will be the biggest pain points.

The satellite IoT adopts a centralized service architecture, in which all monitoring data and control signals are stored and forwarded by a central server, leading to significant security risks.

Compared with ordinary ground-based IoT, the satellite IoT is more widely used in scenes such as the polar regions, deserts, plateaus, and oceans, where the terminals are almost impossible to maintain and could even become forgotten devices.

Meanwhile, these devices are highly likely to become a breakthrough for malicious software infection or attacks, which will affect the security of the entire satellite IoT system.

From the existing systems, although the satellite IoT protocols are mainly based on the existing protocols of ground-based IoT, these specific application systems have their own characteristics, and the technical implementation methods are also not the same. It can be foreseen that in the process of industrialization, there will be fierce competition for protocol standards.

Outlook of the satellite IoT

For a considerable period of time in the future, new enterprises and companies will continue to join the satellite IoT field. Meanwhile, as the IoT technology continues to mature, the layout of operators will gradually become clear.

Further reducing costs through technological and business model innovation will be the most critical problem that the satellite IoT system must solve in the process of commercialization.

Utilizing the improvement of satellite manufacturing and launch technologies to reduce satellite manufacturing and launch costs; designing a satellite IoT system compatible with the ground-based IoT, exploring new business models, fully utilizing the ground-based IoT system and reducing the operational costs of the satellite IoT system; constructing and designing new transmission systems, improving the compatibility with multiple protocols, enhancing the versatility of the satellite IoT system, and reducing service costs; and reducing the production costs of ground-based terminals through industrialization technologies and methods.

At the same time, new technologies, represented by blockchain technology, will further promote system upgrades and industry revolutions in this field. Under security considerations, the collaboration and transactions of IoT devices can only be conducted within the same trust domain, which means that the collaborating and trading devices must be provided by the same IoT service provider or authorized verification. Devices are difficult to accomplish autonomous collaboration and effective transactions. This greatly limits and reduces the true commercial potential and value of IoT applications.

In the future, the combination of trusted computing supported by blockchain technology and the satellite IoT will become more closely integrated, thereby effectively promoting the practical and commercial direction of the satellite IoT.

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