Internet of Things Market Summary: Satellite Providers

By Keith Tamboer

Our series continues with a review of financial & operational results for companies working in IoT. Today’s summary covers satellite providers.

Orbcomm closed out 2015 with full year revenues of more than $178M, a year over year increase of 85%.  The company’s acquisitions of WAM Technologies (4Q), SkyWave (1Q) and InSync (1Q) along with organic growth drove the overall revenue increase. Subscribers increased to more than 1.5 million – including 200 thousand connections from WAM that are primarily refrigerated sea containers. In the quarter, the company successfully launched eleven satellites into orbit.

Globalstar increased total subscribers by more than 7% year over year. Subscriber growth was helped by the company’s Simplex service, a one-way data service used to track and monitor assets. Globalstar’s notable Simplex customers include government agencies FEMA, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, NOAA, the U.S. Forest Service, the British Ministry of Defense and commercial entities like BP and Shell. Another product line, SPOT Trace is a service used by individuals to track automobiles, boats, and other valuable assets where cellular may not cover. Simplex and SPOT connections exceed 550 thousand or 80% of Globalstar’s total connections at the end of 2015.

Inmarsat grew M2M revenues by 13.7% in 2015. The company had 326 thousand connections at the end of 2015 with an increase of ten thousand in Q4. In January, the satellite provider joined the LoRa Alliance allowing LPWAN providers to connect to Inmarsat’s network for integration and interoperability.

Iridium increased M2M subscribers to 391 thousand across commercial and government segments. Commercial M2M revenues exceeded $61M in 2015 representing 5% growth vs. 2014. 

More to come next week.