Sky and Space Global (ASX: SAS) has successfully tested a significant service feature made available through its network of nanosatellites.
Reaching this milestone means Sky and Space Global is on course to offer unrestrained global telephone connectivity once its full constellation of nanosatellites are deployed over the coming months.
In a market update to shareholders, the Israeli-based company said it had successfully tested a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) gateway which demonstrates the capability of its nanosatellite network to “provide connectivity to any phone user on the planet.”
Sky and Space Global’s proprietary PSTN product was developed by its in-house team of engineers and is expected to broaden its service offering to enable SAS to attract a growing customer-base in both Australia and overseas.
To demonstrate its capabilities,Sky and Space Global used its own mobile-app called Chatellite, enabling users to make phone calls, make file transfers and send text messages, using a small network of nanosatellites that were launched last year.
The company demonstrated a phone call from its proprietary application “Chatellite” to international landline and mobile numbers with complete success.
In June of last year, Sky and Space Global launched its first three nanosatellites, the ‘3 Diamonds’, into space orbit and plans to add a further 200 by 2020.
Chatting on Chatellite
Sky and Space Global says that its test confirms that the PSTN gateway allows its Chatellite app to facilitate calls between different messaging apps and users as long as they are also connected to a PSTN network.
Confirmed connectivity with PSTN networks marks an important milestone for the company, as it looks to establish a network of at least 200 nanosatellites, assisted by Virgin Galactic and its fleet of troposphere-bound planes.
Once Sky and Space Global has established a large-enough network of nanosatellites, it will look to strike deals with national telecommunications providers as well as create various e-commerce opportunities through online communications.
One of Sky and Space Global’s prime sources of revenue is expected to come from selling bandwidth to telecommunications companies, data to GPS providers and bespoke communications services within the private sector. Obtaining an effective PSTN solution at an early stage, and therefore assists the company in its capability to secure more lucrative service deals over the coming years.
The PSTN is the equivalent of the world’s circuit-switched telephone networks that are operated by national, regional, or local telecommunications providers.
Today’s news means that by developing an effective method of relaying data across the PSTN, Sky and Space Global has effectively created intellectual property it can now use to generate commercial opportunities.
Nanosatellites are very small replicants of their larger siblings. On average, they measure no larger than 1-2 metres in length. Their smaller-size gives them a huge cost and deployment advantage over their larger siblings — they are much cheaper to build and maintain, as well as, much cheaper to launch and control.
“The SAS vision for connecting the unconnected has just become a step closer to reality. The endless innovation and hard work of our software development team, led by Mr Itamar Zabari, continually pushes us to achieve even more than we plan,” said Mr Meidad Pariente, CTO at Sky and Space Global .
“We are fully committed to driving innovation in the satellite communications space and delivering more competitive services to our customers. But most importantly, we are excited about the opportunity to provide affordable connectivity to anyone, anywhere, anytime,” he added.