Bridging the connectivity gap: Satellites powering IoT innovation for OEMs

by Luc Vidal-Madjar, Head of IoT and MVNE solutions | June 11, 2024

Bridging the connectivity gap: Satellites powering IoT innovation for OEMs
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In the inaugural episode of BICS Tech in 20, a podcast that demystifies the tech world for enthusiasts and professionals alike, we had the pleasure of hosting Luc Vidal-Madjar, the Head of IoT and Roaming Solutions at BICS. With over two decades of experience, Luc brought invaluable insights into how satellite technology is revolutionizing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). 

The OEM challenge: Connectivity everywhere

At its core, an OEM in the IoT space is any company that integrates connectivity into its hardware. One of the biggest challenges these companies face today is ensuring that their products remain connected no matter where they are deployed. In our global business landscape, a product manufactured in one country might be used across the globe. Thus, embedding reliable and straightforward global connectivity directly into the hardware becomes crucial.

Satellite connectivity: The game changer

Luc explained that only about 10% of the Earth’s surface has access to traditional terrestrial connectivity services. This significant gap leaves numerous potential applications—from maritime transport to remote mining operations – lacking the connectivity they require.

This year, BICS announced a groundbreaking partnership with Skylo, a GEO satellite network operator. This collaboration aims to leverage a network that covers an astounding 13.7 billion square miles of land and sea. With the advent of new standards like Release 17 by EGP3GPP, regular devices can now communicate directly with satellites through simple firmware updates, bypassing the need for expensive terminals and complex engineering.

Practical impact: A real-world example

Consider the case of a North American logistics company using next-generation GPS asset trackers enabled by direct-to-satellite connectivity. These trackers can now provide continuous tracking data over thousands of miles, including areas previously outside cellular coverage. By closing this connectivity gap, BICS is helping its client not just compete but lead in their market by ensuring reliable, continuous service where others cannot.

Understanding satellite options: GEO vs. LEO

Luc also clarified the difference between geostationary (GEO) and low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. GEO satellites, positioned about 36,000km above the Earth, provide consistent coverage to specific areas, making them ideal for long-duration IoT deployments. In contrast, LEO satellites operate closer to the planet and require a constellation to ensure continuous coverage. The choice between GEO and LEO will depend on specific use cases and requirements.

The benefits

To sum it up, the integration of satellite connectivity into IoT solutions offers OEMs truly global coverage that is as seamless as it is effective. With simple firmware upgrades, existing IoT modules can now operate anywhere—be it remote areas or across different continents—without needing different hardware setups. This not only simplifies the logistical aspect of IoT deployments but also significantly expands the potential applications and business models for OEMs.


The potential of satellite connectivity to transform the IoT landscape for OEMs is immense. By providing truly global and seamless coverage, satellite technology not only solves the complex challenge of connectivity but also opens new avenues for innovation and efficiency. To dive deeper into this topic and explore more about BICS’ IoT solutions, we invite you to listen to the full episode of BICS Tech in 20.

This episode is a testament to the exciting possibilities when technology meets visionary enterprise solutions, paving the way for a more connected and efficient global business environment.