News Operators Satellite

OQ Technology secures $1.1m contract to provide 5G IoT coverage

The company has also introduced a private and secure network that provides 5G connectivity for IoT devices.

OQ Technology has announced the first commercial contract for using the world’s first constellation of LEO satellites to provide 5G coverage for IoT devices. The contract, close to EUR 1m ($1.10m), is with an unnamed customer described as one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies by OQ Technology. The initial customer service package covers the year 2023 with the option for future extension plans.

With this contract, OQ Technology also introduces “OQ-Secure”, a secure private network that provides 5G connectivity for narrowband-IoT devices based on 3GPP cellular technology.

OQ-Secure is a fully private and secure network for companies requiring a complete private and secure end-to-end data pipeline while benefitting from 5G connectivity. It consists of both hardware and software in space and on the ground without the need for further external intervention from other space or ground segments.

It is compatible with terrestrial narrowband (NB) IoT mobile networks and can be integrated into terrestrial 5G networks. This allows customers of OQ Technology to manage and monitor their assets in a hybrid mode and expand the geographical footprint of their private 5G network on a global scale.

In addition to monitoring performance, detecting leaks and spillages, smart metering, and tracking assets, OQ Technology will deploy a large number of terminals covering oil and gas well heads. The company will also implement a 3GPP-compatible network management suite, gateways to receive the data and manage and control users and assets, and a secure layer to keep the data safe. The network management suite allows the customer to have its own way of controlling data traffic, have the data directly sent to them, and directly command the satellite payload without any operator intervention.

As a result of OQ Technology’s plans to grow its constellation from three to 10 satellites this year, customers such as this oil & gas company will be able to receive more daily transmissions.

Speaking about the commercial use, Omar Qaise, founder and CEO of OQ Technology, said: “This commercial product suite and contract is the start of a whole new ballgame. In addition to funding and contracts to prove a certain technology, we are now making revenue based on our 5G IoT satellite constellation and delivering the services and products it can provide. The value of this single customer contract also shows the tremendous potential that our technology, products and services have. It is a multiple of what other satellite IoT startups have been trying to achieve over the years. OQ Technology already has a large pipeline of customers from different verticals and already started the process of converting that pipeline into paying customers. ”

Through OQ-Secure customers can reserve dedicated access to OQ Technology’s satellite NB-IoT constellation as opposed to the shared service. In addition, OQ ONE Nano gateways will be deployed. These gateways connect to sensors using different wired and wireless standard interfaces. They allow direct communication with the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) network, core network and software suite that controls and manages the users and network traffic.

The gateways provide a highly secure platform to manage the security aspects of the end-to-end solution. Users can also connect their unmodified standard 3GPP modules to the network.

Qaise added: “The new product isn’t just your ordinary satellite to terminal device network, but a fully-fledged product suite that gives our customers flexibility over their network management, security, ease of integration, and interoperability with their existing terrestrial cellular network.

“We encourage other enterprise customers to try and use the OQ Secure solution by applying to our early adopter programme where they will get first-move benefits.”