LEO firm Sateliot has teamed up with Gospace Labs to connect the latter’s IoT solution water quality testing kit to 5G satellite networks, in order that they act as an early warning systems.

Gospace Labs’ Meratch water management IoT solution monitors contaminants in water by measuring pH acidity levels, temperature, well as water flow and level when deployed in specific areas such as bridges. Hooking it up to Sateliot’s 5G satellite constellation will allow the system to ping a notification alert when ‘unusual situations occur’, such as floods or things that would make the water not safe for drinking.

We’re told 15% of the US population, or 43 million people, rely on private wells for drinking water, and in 2018 the USGS found traces of contaminants in 20% of private wells across the country.

“Gospace Labs has an outstanding record of services in water management and monitoring in Europe, and we are proud to join their mission in the US market to improve vital water access to all Americans,” said Gianluca Redolfi, Sateliot CCO. “Sateliot’s connectivity will provide the best service to Meratch customers, helping them monitor their wells wherever they are located and notifying them of any possible hazards.”

Pavol Turcina, Gospace Labs CEO added: “Well owners and users need to know that water is safe and 100% potable at all times. With Sateliot’s nanosatellite constellation, we can guarantee that data retrieved from Meratch sensors is up-to-date and accurate, and available worldwide. Furthermore, because our sensors are already capable of connecting Sateliot’s NTN without any hardware modifications, MERATCH solution can work seamlessly to both cellular and satellite networks at a very affordable cost”.

It appears to be acknowledged in the release that all this could all be done with terrestrial connectivity as well, but the argument taken is that it will be cheaper with satellites, because ‘proprietary technology from legacy carriers’ is ‘expensive’. But there is no pricing mentioned anywhere so it’s hard to make that assessment.

A stronger argument might be that satellite 5G could target remote areas where terrestrial 5G isn’t present, but that doesn’t seem to be a line the firms have opted to go for with their marketing spin.

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