On land and in space, IoT networks can now cover the planet


The whole idea of IoT is to connect more things, including devices far from a company’s data centers or maintenance crews. For enterprises that have things all over the world, vendors and service providers are starting to look at the big picture.

At Mobile World Congress later this month, Nokia will show off what it calls WING (worldwide IoT network grid), a virtual global infrastructure that may include multiple private and carrier networks and satellite systems, depending on what an enterprise needs to connect and how it intends to use the data that’s collected.

“A global enterprise can actually have what they think is their own virtual network of global connectivity for their IoT devices,” said Phil Twist, vice president of mobile networks marketing & communications, in a briefing this week. WING will be commercially available in the second half of this year.

Nokia announced WING on Friday, just days after Inmarsat started talking about its own foray into global IoT. The venerable satellite operator is linking low-power, unlicensed LoRaWAN networks with its worldwide fleet of spacecraft. Real-world use cases for that setup, including cattle-tracking in Australia and water monitoring on a remote plantation in Malaysia, hint at what’s possible with that combination.

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