Published: 31 October 2016
Iridium Communications Inc. announced an agreement with Komatsu Ltd. of Japan to provide global asset tracking and monitoring for its KOMTRAX system, a system with over 400,000 KOMTRAX-equipped vehicles in the field today. This deal extends Iridium’s leadership position in providing global satellite machine-to-machine (M2M) communications (also referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT)) within the heavy equipment industry.
This agreement enables Komatsu to integrate their vehicle monitoring system, KOMTRAX, with the Iridium network to further extend its reach into global markets currently not served. The service will provide real-time vehicle location, health, diagnostics and proactive maintenance data from anywhere in the world, even where cellular infrastructure is compromised. This long-term agreement ensures that Komatsu has access to the most reliable global network for off-road telematics, and with the help of Iridium’s low-cost, low-power and versatile M2M devices, Komatsu will continue to provide its customers with world leading maintenance services.
“We are confident in Iridium’s ability to further extend our reach now and for many years to come with its current global network, and future next-generation network,” said Ichiro Nakano, executive officer and vice president, development division and vice president, ICT solution division at Komatsu. “A single communication service cannot satisfy our needs. By adding Iridium, we are able to diversify and expand our global network to support construction and mining equipment that is utilized in every possible harsh and remote place on the planet.”
To date, Iridium M2M services are now used by seven of the top 20 heavy equipment OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) in the world. Forecast to be a $181 billion dollar global industry in 2016, heavy equipment is challenged by the current global economy, but is looking to telematics as a way to drive efficiency and value for their customers, dealers and resellers. As the adoption and implementation of satellite-enabled telematics and asset tracking solutions continues to grow across multiple industries, the need for global and reliable communications solutions will increase, further establishing Iridium’s foothold as a leader in this space.
“This new contract reinforces our relationship with Komatsu and provides further validation for Iridium’s leadership in core M2M/IoT satellite technologies,” said Tim Last, vice president and general manager, M2M/IoT at Iridium. “As a technology provider, Iridium is setting the industry standard for two-way, small-form-factor devices that easily integrate into a wide range of solutions. As a business partner, Iridium is committed to providing continuity of service for our subscribers who have M2M/IoT devices already in the field, which total over 50% of our base, by designing our new Iridium NEXT constellation to be backwards compatible with all devices currently in use. Iridium is well positioned to be the provider of choice for global satellite M2M/IoT communications well into the future.”
Iridium NEXT is the company’s next-generation global satellite constellation, which will enhance existing communications, deliver faster speeds and enable future innovations for the satellite industry as it comes online over 2017 and 2018.