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New L-Band Network for IoT, Safety and Mission Critical Connectivity

By Phoebe Grinter / 17 Aug 2021

Inmarsat has released details of a new global narrowband network designed for the rapidly evolving world of the Internet of Things (IoT) and for global mobility customers, including aviation, maritime, governments and select enterprizes. 

 L-Band Network for IoT, Safety and Mission Critical Connectivity


ELERA builds on Inmarsat’s strengths in Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and will be a springboard for innovation, unlocking, accelerating and scaling pioneering use cases at sea, on land and in the air.

Incorporating new innovations ranging from higher speeds to smaller, low-cost terminals, the first of its previously announced Inmarsat-6 satellites is scheduled to launch before the end of the year.

“ELERA is perfectly suited to the needs of the connected IoT world,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO, Inmarsat. “Global reach, extraordinary resilience, faster speeds, smaller and lower cost terminals are all part of ensuring that we remain ahead of others in meeting the needs of our customers.”

“ELERA is a further sign of a company with true momentum and one that is delivering new innovations and strong performance,” continued Suri. “I expect that Inmarsat will grow strongly in 2021 compared to the previous year, and that growth will span most of our business units. Our progress was evident in the first half, where we saw strong growth in revenue and EBITDA and robust cash flow. We have sharpened our strategy to focus on driving growth, accelerate decision making, launch new innovations, and are creating a more commercially focused, customer-centric culture.” 

Coming just 14 days after Inmarsat announced ORCHESTRA, the world’s first network to combine GEO, LEO and 5G into one global communications solution, ELERA underlines Inmarsat’s strategic focus on the global mobility segment of satellite communications.

The unique capabilities of ELERA, combined with Inmarsat’s superior spectrum and the ideally suited orbital position of its satellite networks, will make it the essential catalyst for new IoT use cases, across everything from autonomous transport and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to industrial and agricultural IoT applications.

ELERA is built on Inmarsat’s market leading L-band network, which already delivers reliable and flexible global connectivity with resilience in all conditions and full global redundancy. 

It supports everything from worldwide maritime and aviation safety services and humanitarian missions to IoT applications across agritech, transportation and utilities, among many others.

The company is investing in new innovations to bring to market in the near future, including spectrum management technology to deliver L-band speeds up to 1.7Mbps, the smallest footprint, low cost L-band terminal and two new L-band satellites, which are the largest and most sophisticated commercial communication satellites ever created.

The new spectrum management capabilities (known as Carrier Aggregation) incorporated into the ELERA network will outperform the capabilities of any other worldwide L-band network.

ELERA will also see the creation of the smallest footprint, low cost terminal for L-band users, delivering the ideal framework for satcom IoT at scale, with supporting cloud-based management, for vertical sectors such as infrastructure, rail, logistics, mining, agriculture, government, maritime and aviation.

Inmarsat is launching two new satellites to enhance the ELERA network. The I-6 satellites, the first of which is scheduled to launch at the end of 2021, are the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built.

The L-band capacity on each I-6 satellite will deliver 50% more capacity per beam; meaning that more data can be carried over the same geographical area, in addition to unlimited beam routing flexibility.

ELERA will also deliver a major extension to Inmarsat’s portfolio of voice-enabled devices, bringing new capabilities and innovations to customers. 

“ELERA is the exciting vision of how Inmarsat is planning to transform the capabilities offered to IoT and mobility customers for years to come and confirms our long-term commitment to L-band services,” Suri added. 

“We will be sharing further detail on these innovations with our partner community in the coming months and continue our program of announcements as we achieve major milestones.”

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Posted by Phoebe Grinter Unmanned Systems Technology’s digital editor and copywriter Phoebe takes a fresh and enthusiastic approach to researching, writing and posting the latest unmanned technology updates, and in managing the UST social channels. Connect & Contact
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