Smart satellite communications for people and assets
By Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.
By Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.
Competing in today’s hyper-connected and data-driven marketplace, resource companies must consistently innovate and build greater agility, affordability and reliability into their operations. Managing operations in Canada’s forestry, oil and gas, mining and minerals and commercial marine industries, becomes particularly challenging when it comes to reliably connecting people and assets. This requires a smart approach that includes satellite technology given that these companies are operating in remote and challenging environments, well beyond the reach of cellular and GSM networks.
From voice and data connectivity, to remote and lone worker safety, to real-time asset monitoring and management, satellite technology has become a critical business-enabler for operations in the four-fifths of Canada’s geography that cell service doesn’t reach¹.
Satellite connectivity inside and out
Many satellite communications solutions require line-of-site between the satellite constellation and device presenting unique challenges for workers on the move (in vehicles and vessels) or operating inside remotely located buildings. To address this, Globalstar has expanded the capabilities of its best-in-class Sat-Fi2® Satellite Hotspot by incorporating a highly efficient remote antenna which enables use in any vehicle, vessel or building located off the grid. The new Sat-Fi2 Remote Antenna Station (RAS) seamlessly connects any Wi-Fi enabled device or smart phone to the Globalstar Satellite Network and ground infrastructure. Ideal for work crews, Sat-Fi2 RAS supports up to eight workers and enables talk, text and email from any smart device. Workers can easily transfer files, communicate with head office and supply chains, and access weather and social networks, driving productivity benefits that go directly to the company’s bottom line.
Connecting lone workers with two-way satellite technology
The SPOT X 2-Way Satellite GPS Messenger, now with Bluetooth® functionality, enables an affordable way for organizations to comply with lone worker regulations and employee check-in policies. In the past, if a remote or lone worker missed a scheduled check-in, little could be done that didn’t involve waiting or sending a search team. In the case of an emergency or injured worker, precious time would be spent as search and rescue efforts were deployed.
Today, SPOT is a trusted and proven technology used by thousands of workers around the world for reliable connectivity beyond cellular. The latest SPOT X release enables users to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth wireless technology through an iOS and Android compatible SPOT X App for employer check-in, sending and receiving messages, emergency response and GPS tracking functionality. SPOT X will work for up to 10 days on a single charge, with or without a paired phone. Since the technology was launched in 2007, more than 6,000 rescues and counting have been initiated with SPOT, approximately one-third have taken place in Canada.
Satellite-enabled monitoring and management of remote assets
In Canada’s resource sectors, companies are using advanced machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and IoT-driven applications for proactive monitoring of remote assets and equipment. The remote location of operations makes satellite communications the only reliable choice.
The Globalstar SmartOne Solar is a low-maintenance, intelligent IoT device designed for automated data collection and critical real-time monitoring. Certified intrinsically safe, it delivers GPS location reporting for added efficiency and security. Solar-powered, SmartOne Solar is programmed to track needs and trigger events specific to each asset, even if the machinery itself is not powered. Alerts are sent either by email or text to initiate maintenance and repairs which proactively protect against catastrophic machinery failure in the field.
Achieving affordable and reliable operations off the cellular grid is well within reach with today’s satellite communications solutions. Companies in Canada’s resource sector, particularly those operating in some of the most harsh, remote and challenging environments, no longer face barriers when it comes to protecting and connecting its people and assets. Ongoing advancements in satellite communications that support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IoT and solar technology are empowering productive operations, as the limitations of connecting people and assets beyond cellular becomes a thing of the past.
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¹ CRTC report, section 5.5: “Wireless networks cover approximately 20% of Canada’s geographic land mass” www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/PolicyMonitoring/2014/cmr5.htm.