Satellite IoT: M2M Networks and Terminals

Satellite IoT and M2M – What is it?

At this point in time, we would be lost without the Internet of Things (IoT). Objects large and small have the capability to communicate with one another without any interaction from a human being whatsoever. Integrated sensors give these objects the intelligence to operate in this manner, and of course, we want this same functionality even in the most remote areas of the world. 

Global satellite networks such as Iridium and Inmarsat make satellite IoT possible.

M2M solutions are also necessary for IoT to operate on a truly global level. This technology is what allows machines to communicate with one another around the world so businesses can maintain full functionality even when human operation is not an option. 

Industry Advantage with Satellite IoT and M2M

Between being able to notify team members of pending issues that need to be fixed before they ever become a problem or running day-to-day functions more efficiently than any human ever could, it is hard to argue against M2M for a business’ bottom line. That goes for businesses off the grid as well. It may sound more difficult to integrate, but it’s not when you’re utilizing the very best satellite networks in the world.

Though most industries operating out of range could benefit from satellite IoT, some of the most common include:

  1. Mining
  2. Construction
  3. Transportation
  4. Shipping
  5. Forestry
  6. Meteorology
  7. Oil and Gas 
  8. Aviation

Using an M2M network makes it so the communication you require among your most important assets is never compromised. Global operations are enhanced exponentially when utilizing a leading satellite provider and an enhanced M2M solution to create connectivity that would otherwise be impossible.

CompareIridium 9602Iridium 9603Iridium 9523
Form FactorEmbeddedEmbeddedEmbedded
Dimensions41 x 45 x 13 mm32 x 30 x 8 mm70 x 36 x 9 mm
Weight1.06 oz0.40 oz1.13 oz.
Power Required+5 V +/- 0.5 V+5 V +/- 0.5 V+3.2 V to +6 V
Average Power UseIdle 35mA Transmit 140mA Receive 40mAIdle 34mA Transmit 145mA Receive 39mAIdle 70mA Transmit 300mA Receive 110mA
Operating Temperature Range-40°C to +85°C-40°C to +85°C-30°C to +70°C
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The security of your goods, resources, and capital is vital to your business’ success. Get started with remote tracking and monitoring by utilizing one of our SBD transceivers on the only truly global network of Iridium. SBD Data plans with low airtime rates, no roaming charges, and no commitment can be found here.

Inmarsat Service and BGAN M2M Terminals

Another big player in the world of Satellite IoT is Inmarsat. Though its coverage isn’t 100% worldwide like Iridium, it comes very close. If you don’t require remote connections in the polar regions, Inmarsat is a solid choice for your connectivity needs. 

Inmarsat makes M2M possible with its Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) terminals. The combined service and advanced devices allow for long-term machine-to-machine management of fixed and mobile assets. Industries requiring off the grid, unmanned location communication and management need not look any further than BGAN M2M.

What you get with Inmarsat BGAN M2M:

  1. Nearly global coverage
  2. Low latency data transmission
  3. Easy integration into current systems
  4. Robust certified terminals
  5. Affordability
  6. Enhanced support and remote upgrading

Utizling IoT via Inmarsat allows for a range of applications such as:

  1. Asset tracking
  2. Fixed monitoring – remote surveillance, telemetry, and tracking
  3. Friendly force tracking
  4. Mobile monitoring – remote surveillance, telemetry, and tracking
  5. Secure and encrypted ATM/PoS solution
  6. Smart metering
  7. Weather and environmental monitoring

Relying on M2M communication is vital in any successful operation, but you also need to be confident in its reliability to get the job done. You can be confident that it’s all under control when you use Inmarsat’s network with the complementary BGAN M2M terminals.

Hughes 9502 BGAN M2M 

There are two options for the 9502 BGAN M2M. Both offer the same optimal features for offering affordable, global, end-to-end IP data connectivity. The External Antenna option utilizes an outdoor and indoor unit, whereas the integrated terminal utilizes a one-piece design with the highest industry rating for ingress protection for the harshest of environments.

Otherwise, users will receive the same quality and funcitionality that they require with one of these “always-on, low-power, high-speed terminals for seamless M2M connectivity. Features include:

  1. Utilizes BGAN or M2M SIM cards
  2. Integrated IP Watchdog to ensure “always-on” network connectivity
  3. Auto-on/auto-context activation automatically restores power 
  4. Remote control via SMS
  5. Ultra-low power consumption
  6. Security enhancements with extended layers of embedded security options
  7. Basic installation
  8. Built-in GPS receive
  9. Ultra-low power consumption
  10. Security enhancements with extended layers of embedded security options
  11. Basic installation
  12. Built-in GPS receiver


9502 External Antenna Terminal

Even power-challenged locations can rely on this seamless communication because of 9502’s extremely low power consumption. This is always-on, low-power (yet high-speed) terminal is one of the most affordable ways to continuously monitor and control unmanned equipment that can’t be operated on a typical terrestrial network. 

This terminal is Ideal for any businesses requiring remote management of its fixed and mobile assets. Industries requiring processes such as environmental monitoring, pipeline monitoring, compressor monitoring, well site automation, video surveillance, and out-of-band management to primary site communications will find it especially useful in maintaining a successfully running business operation.

The outdoor unit can be pole mounted and the indoor unit is housed inside a building or remote terminal unit.

9502 Integrated Antenna Terminal

This compact antenna is the alternative to the external antenna option. 

With the 9502 modem integrated with the compact antenna, this is the best bet for outdoor installation to ensure your connection stays constant even during harsh weather conditions. The single-piece, integrated terminal provides the reliable IP connectivity required for all M2M application requirements. With the included 10 meters of RF cabling, this antenna can be positioned away from the transceiver in order to optimize the connection (while sill enabling the SIM card to be housed inside an enclosure for added security).

The Hughes 9450-C11 BGAN Mobile Satellite Terminal is the world’s smallest mobile BGAN terminal. The complementary mini-antenna can be permanently installed on a moving land vehicle, making it the perfect choice for on the move M2M connectivity. The optional magnetic roof mount can also be used for the utmost flexibility in installation.


Additionally, video, voice, and data can all be used simultaneously. Even where typical connectivity is unavailable, the M2M communication your business requires can function at the same time you’re coordinating with team members. This budget-friendly mobile terminal is especially useful for first responders, public safety personnel, mobile healthcare workers, or any industry that requires on the go communication in remote areas.


Key Features include:

  1. Use a BGAN or M2M SIM card
  2. Built-in Wi-Fi
  3. RJ11 for Voice and Fax
  4. Built-in Four Port Ethernet
  5. Auto Context Activation
  6. Multi-user, up to 11 simultaneous sessions
  7. Background IP up to 464 kbps
  8. Streaming QoS up to 128 kbps
CompareHughes 9502Hughes 9503Hughes 9450-C11 MobileWideye Sabre Ranger M2M
Form FactorSeparate terminal with external antennaSingle terminal with integrated antennaSeparate terminal with external mobile tracking antennaSingle terminal with integrated antenna
DimensionsTerminal 200 x 150 x 45mm, 1.5kg Antenna 385 x 385 x 33mm275 x 275 x 84mmTerminal 281 x 234 x 46 2.3kg Antenna 252 x 119305 x 186 x 49mm
Weight1.9 kg3.8 kg2.0 kg.1.5 kg.
Power Required12 or 24 VDC+12 or 24 VDC12 or 24 VDC12 – 18 VDC
Average Power UseTransmit: 20W Idle – regional beam: 1W Off: (wake on packet): 50mWTransmit: 20W Idle – regional beam: 1W Off: (wake on packet): 50mWTransmit 50W Idle: 25 WTransmit 50W Idle: 25 W
Operating Temperature Range-40°C to +85°C-40°C to +85°C-30°C to +70°C-30°C to +70°C
ServicesStandard IP, SMS, BGAN M2M certifiedStandard IP, SMS, BGAN M2M certifiedStandard IP, SMS, BGAN M2M certifiedStandard IP, SMS, BGAN M2M certified
Typical PerformanceUp to 448/464kbps* (send/receive)Up to 448/464kbps* (send/receive)Up to 448/464kbps* (send/receive)Up to 448/464kbps* (send/receive)
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Explorer 540

Inmarsat and cellular network dual-use

The EXPLORER 540 by Cobham is the world’s first and only M2M BGAN terminal that is designed for dual use on the Inmarsat BGAN and on available cellular networks. This option gives you the flexibility to alternate between networks depending on what is available. This results in making the most affordable choice while still getting the seamless M2M functionality required to run your operation effectively.

This is a highly portable option for controlling applications and managing assets in remote or unmanned areas. It is rugged, small, and light and easily adapts to any environment. This, combined with the reliable connectivity you need make it a major player in satellite IoT.

Other features include:

  1. Lightweight and rugged IP66 design ensures durability for outside mounting – no enclosure needed
  2. Pole-mount included in the package
  3. Simple set up
  4. Versatile power options 
  5. Two cable glands for easy installation of standard power and Ethernet cables
  6. Remote management of the terminal via SMS 
  7. The optional cellular 2G/3G/LTE Modem is an integrated part of the design
  8. Automatic failover between BGAN and the cellular network ensures continuous connectivity

EXPLORER 323 Terminal

BGAN and BGAN M2M for on-the-move connectivity

The Explorer 323 by Cobham is an ultra-compact BGAN and BGAN M2M terminal that’s perfect for on-the-go voice and data satellite communication. This one-piece transceiver/switched beam antenna combo offer the reliable connectivity your business requires in a vehicle roof-mounted device. The unique design is the first of its kind – offering not only operation with BGAN M2M SIM cards but also with the traditional BGAN when communication beyond IoT is required.

Key Features include:

  1. Easily mounts onto the roof of a vehicle with optional magnetic mounts
  2. Offers connection you can rely on even when a vehicle is in motion
  3. It’s “no moving parts” and robust design make it perfect for any vehicles or trains on the move
  4. Connect your phone to the EXPLORER app or log onto the wireless network with your PC
  5. Border-free communication made possible with fixed pricing and no roaming fees

BGAN M2M Global Service Plans

M2M connectivity is essential for running a successful business from afar and off the grid. BGAN M2M ensures that you’re able to manage, track, and monitor your assets and data without ever skipping a beat.  Inmarsat’s service guarantees the successful operating of your BGAN M2M terminal. Flexibly priced plans global and regional plans can be found here.


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