Sky and Space moves into farm sector with nano-satellite comms

Perth-listed Sky and Space Global is making a foray into the so-called smart agriculture market with its innovative communications network based on miniature satellites known as nano-satellites.

The company announced this week it had signed a deal with a leading knowledge sharing service that connects farmers across the globe.

Management said on Tuesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with WeFarm Ltd that would explore how its proposed constellation of up to 200 nano-satellites could be integrated into WeFarm’s data sharing network.

WeFarm, the world’s largest knowledge and data network for small-scale farmers, allows users to connect with each other irrespective of location in order to share livestock and crop information online and improve outcomes on things like increasing yields, market pricing and climate change.

With 90 per cent of the approximately 500 million small farmers worldwide having no internet, WeFarm believes Sky and Space Global’s nano-satellite voice, data, and instant messaging service could assist isolated operators who don’t have online access.

Sky and Space Global CEO Meir Moalem said: “SAS is now entering one of its key target markets, being the smart agriculture industry. We will provide farmers using WeFarm’s technology the opportunity to send and receive instant messages (SMS) in real-time.

“The partnership further demonstrates SAS’s business model and strong social values when it comes to providing affordable communication services to anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

The announcement is the latest signal that Sky and Space management are looking beyond the impending launch of its first three nano-satellites, scheduled to be blasted into orbit in late May.

Earlier this month, the company raised $10 million in a heavily oversubscribed share placement to progress development of its full equatorial constellation that will see around 200 satellite units deloyed into space by 2020.

Sky and Space is seeking to provide communications services to telcos, government and other corporate players in poorly serviced areas and industries including agriculture, shipping and airlines at a fraction of the cost associated with traditional, large scale satellites.

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