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The global satellite IoT communications market is growing steadily, with the number of satellite IoT subscribers set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.3% and reach 21.2 million units by 2026.

Iridium, Orbcomm, Inmarsat and Globalstar are the largest satellite IoT network operators, according to a new research report from specialist IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.

While most rely on proprietary satellite technologies to support IoT devices, AST SpaceMobile, Omnispace and Starlink, among others, are starting to leverage terrestrial wireless IoT connectivity technologies.

“The terrestrial technologies will grow in importance in the next five years and collaborations between satellite operators and mobile operators exploring new hybrid satellite-terrestrial connectivity opportunities such as the recent T-Mobile/SpaceX agreement will become common,” concludes Johan Fagerberg, principal analyst at Berg Insight.

Satellites are indeed playing a vital role in building a smart, connected world. In parallel, Transparency Market Research states that the satellite IoT market is expected to cross $6 billion by 2031. Satellite communication supports IoT applications in areas where cellular connectivity is not possible, such as the deep sea, remote sites and mining locations.

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