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Hubble Networks makes the link with Blutooth..

US startup Hubble Networks recently announced that it sucessfully established communication from space with standard blutooth devices. If confirmed, this event marks a breakthrough in IoT communications as such a technique would allow to reach litterally billions of devices from space, enabling many new (and not-so-new) applications.

Hubble network launched two satellites in march 2024. The 16U spacecrafts, designed by Spire, carry a specifically designed phased-array antenna that it has patented. This antenna makes it possible to receive the low power Blutooth signals and to take into account the Doppler shift due to the satellite speed. The communication requires a software upgrade to the BLE chips on the ground (NB: BLE is Blutooth 5 Low Energy and is also providing longer range than earlier Blutooth versions). Apparently, this upgrade can work with all chips on the market. The company plans to laucnh up to 36 satellites to provide global low latency IoT like services ; this constellation should be in operations in 2025 or 2026.

Should Hubble succeed, this could be a game changer in the satellite IoT world as this would solve standardization issues and regulatory hurdles. Of course, the major challenge of business model, gotomarket and growth curve need to be addressed, but they will play at the same level as LoRa or to a lesser extent NB-IoT sat providers.

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