SpaceX has acquired US satellite IoT startup Swarm Technologies to add low data rate services to its portfolio.
The acquisition adds Swarm’s 121 picosatellite LEO constellation to the SpaceX StarLink broadband data constellation. Further, this will allow Swarm to launch many more satellites more cost effectively on SpaceX Falcon launches.
Swarm is also one of two satellite constellations providing low cost data links using the LoRa low power wide area network (LPWAN) protocol.
This also creates a major challenger for European IoT satellite service such as OQ Technology and R3-IoT.
Swarm has asked the US regulator, the FCC, to allocate its spectrum in the 137–138 MHz and 148–150.05 MHz NVNG VHF Bands to SpaceX as a result of the deal. Swarm was started in 2016 and is based in Palo Alto, California.