Dutch start-up bids to disrupt connectivity with global satellite IoT network

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After the launch of two nano-satellites, Dutch start-up Hiber is rolling out a low-power IoT network to connect the 90% of the world that previously lacked connectivity.

The company says Hiberband is the first network of its kind to become operational on a global scale.

Hiber said in a statement: “Existing terrestrial networks like LoRa, NB-IoT or GSM only work in urban areas, whilst traditional satellites that provide wider coverage are expensive and power-hungry.

“Hiberband is disrupting global connectivity by empowering individuals and organisations to reliably transmit data (text message size) from the world’s most hard-to-reach places for less than a dollar per month per device.”

Hiber says any industry operating in remote and developing areas can utilise the network, with early adopters being from government, environment, transport and logistics, agriculture and mining.  70 customers have already signed up to trial the service. Projects include:
 •    Soil moisture monitoring: Monitoring soil moisture levels on farms helps farmers understand whether their crops need water. The sensors developed by Hiber partner Royal Eijkelkamp ensure that farmers make the right irrigation decisions, reducing water waste and increasing crop yields.
 •    Beehive monitoring: Bee farmers can monitor the environment inside hives anywhere on the globe using sensors connected via Hiberband, ensuring that the conditions are optimal for bee survival and honey production.
 •    Crop monitoring/post-harvest: Centaur Analytics has developed an ‘Internet-of-Crops’ platform that monitors the condition of harvests from the farm to the consumer. Hiber enables Centaur to provide customers in the US and globally with updates on crop conditions no matter where they are in the world.

First of its kind

Laurens Groenendijk, co-founder at Hiber, said, “We are extremely proud to announce that after only three years of hard work, Hiberband is the first network of its kind to become operational on a global scale. We have the team, partners, technology and regulatory building blocks in place to shortly be the industry leader.

“With full freedom to operate everywhere in the world, we are looking forward to supporting our customers wherever they need to be.”

Hiber will introduce two networks, Hiberband Direct (a modem and antenna that talks directly to Hiber’s satellites) and a gateway solution, Hiberband Via, which can operate on LoRa, Bluetooth or WiFi.

Hiber launched its first two satellites from sites in Sriharikota, India and California, USA in late 2018. It will be launching its third and fourth satellites in Q1 2020 also in Sriharikota, India.

Hiber’s team previously worked for companies including Booking.com, JustEat and Treatwell.