Author Topic: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)  (Read 24547 times)

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10144
  • US
  • Liked: 13744
  • Likes Given: 5877
SpaceX is buying Swarm.

https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-T-C-20210806-00096

Quote
Swarm Technologies, Inc. (“Swarm” or “Transferor”) and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX” or “Transferee”) (together, the “Applicants”) hereby request Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) consent to transfer to SpaceX control of the earth and space station licenses held by Swarm, a U.S.-licensed satellite operator in the non-voice, non-geostationary mobile-satellite service (“NVNG MSS”) authorized to operate in the 137–138 MHz and 148–150.05 MHz bands (the “NVNG VHF Bands”). Swarm and SpaceX have executed a merger agreement pursuant to which, as described more fully in Section I.C below, Swarm will become a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of SpaceX (the “Proposed Transaction”).
...
On July 16, 2021, SpaceX, Swarm, Swarm Holdco, Inc., a Delaware corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of SpaceX (“Merger Sub”), and Dr. Sara Spangelo, solely in her capacity as Stockholder Representative, entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (“Merger Agreement”). The Merger Agreement provides for the merger of Merger Sub with and into Swarm (the “Merger”), with Swarm surviving the Merger as a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of SpaceX upon consummation of the Proposed Transaction.

Offline Bob Niland

  • Member
  • Posts: 86
  • Kansas
    • For Those Still On Earth
  • Liked: 82
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #1 on: 08/07/2021 10:56 pm »
Being completely unfamiliar, this appears to be:
https://swarm.space/
and not:
swarmtechnology.us, nor swarm.com, nor {several other obvious domain names}

So I'd have no speculation on whether Sx is buying IP, spectrum or any existing physical assets and/or workforce.
Working for SX could be exhilarating, as long as the job description doesn't include Master PERT Chart.

Offline LooZ

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
  • Liked: 45
  • Likes Given: 235
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #2 on: 08/07/2021 11:00 pm »
After looking at this company's website, I assume it's about hardware for on-the-ground solutions - a photovoltaic-powered base that collects data en masse from a local network of "beacons" and sends it over the internet to a user anywhere in the world. This is a powerful extension of Starlink's capabilities and a brilliant solution from a military perspective as well.

Offline FlattestEarth

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Usa
  • Liked: 147
  • Likes Given: 76
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #3 on: 08/08/2021 12:50 am »
Will they add the spacebee receivers to future starlink satellites or will they keep separate constellations?

Offline lonestriker

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 417
  • Houston We've Had A Problem
  • Liked: 820
  • Likes Given: 5155
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #4 on: 08/08/2021 05:26 am »
Will they add the spacebee receivers to future starlink satellites or will they keep separate constellations?

If I had to guess, they would just add them to at least a subset of the Starlinks; and to all of them in later Starlink revisions.  It's likely not going to add much to mass/cost of Starlinks and will add another large market for them.  Having global IoT connectivity for a small incremental cost will be a good revenue stream in the future.  Agriculture and oil/gas pipelines would be a big market where you need cheap, low bandwidth sensors.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually add other sensors/transmitters to the constellation eventually (cameras, IR imaging and SAR come to mind.)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47416
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #5 on: 08/08/2021 07:30 am »
https://twitter.com/trengriffin/status/1424200788675420166

Quote
1/ In a recent podcast I predicted that SpaceX and other space operators would continue moving the industry from a horizontal to a vertical structure, with businesses moving up the stack into providing new services. Increases TAM and hopefully margins.

twitter.com/trengriffin/status/1424204481084870661

Quote
2/ "One of the ways to create enough demand for [SpaceX] launch is to be your own demand. And so there's Starlink....

Starlink is most likely to be a gusher of cash, not from selling bandwidth, but from selling services on top of that bandwidth." Tren

https://twitter.com/trengriffin/status/1424206001977233413

Quote
3/ In a space business, there are two ways to generate absolute dollar free cash flow. You can build a better horizontal service like rocket launches, or you can go vertical, preferably higher in the stack into higher margin application services with software style margins.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47416
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #6 on: 08/08/2021 07:53 am »
This, SpaceX doesn’t usually acquire:

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1424169023097344000

Quote
Rare acquisition. SpaceX usually just hires people from whatever company they're interested in and/or reverse engineers the technology they want, makes some improvements and declares they haven't violated any patents or IP.

Some people speculating on social media it’s purely about Swarm’s licenses. Whatever the reason(s), it’s unusual.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #7 on: 08/08/2021 08:17 am »
If I had to guess, they would just add them to at least a subset of the Starlinks; and to all of them in later Starlink revisions.  It's likely not going to add much to mass/cost of Starlinks and will add another large market for them.  Having global IoT connectivity for a small incremental cost will be a good revenue stream in the future.  Agriculture and oil/gas pipelines would be a big market where you need cheap, low bandwidth sensors.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually add other sensors/transmitters to the constellation eventually (cameras, IR imaging and SAR come to mind.)

I agree that Starlink will carry more sensors and widgets to expand the revenue stream, the entire constellation will be a platform where you can just add on various services, anything that can be done via a separate LEO constellation can be integrated into Starlink. This should start happening with v2 which could have a lot more mass budget to play with given it'll launch on Starship.

But I have always assumed SpaceX will develop these additional hardware in house. Buying some other company is not their MO, although it would certainly speed things up if they're in a hurry (to get Starlink v2.0 ready to launch on Starship?). If that's the case, we may see more acquisitions in the near future.

Offline vsatman

If I had to guess, they would just add them to at least a subset of the Starlinks; and to all of them in later Starlink revisions.  It's likely not going to add much to mass/cost of Starlinks and will add another large market for them.  Having global IoT connectivity for a small incremental cost will be a good revenue stream in the future.  Agriculture and oil/gas pipelines would be a big market where you need cheap, low bandwidth sensors.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually add other sensors/transmitters to the constellation eventually (cameras, IR imaging and SAR come to mind.)

I agree that Starlink will carry more sensors and widgets to expand the revenue stream, the entire constellation will be a platform where you can just add on various services, anything that can be done via a separate LEO constellation can be integrated into Starlink. This should start happening with v2 which could have a lot more mass budget to play with given it'll launch on Starship.

But I have always assumed SpaceX will develop these additional hardware in house. Buying some other company is not their MO, although it would certainly speed things up if they're in a hurry (to get Starlink v2.0 ready to launch on Starship?). If that's the case, we may see more acquisitions in the near future.

to use this service (i.e. 150 MHz Band ) on StarLink Gen2, you need to obtain a new FCC approval

Offline Reynold

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 167
  • Liked: 271
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #9 on: 08/09/2021 03:58 pm »
Additional information in this article at SpaceNews;

https://spacenews.com/spacex-to-acquire-swarm-technologies/

An interesting item is that the Spacex subsidiary that is acquiring Swarm was incorporated in Delaware on May 5, showing that negotiations have been under way for a while. 

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Liked: 2382
  • Likes Given: 10146
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #10 on: 08/09/2021 04:07 pm »
Will they add the spacebee receivers to future starlink satellites or will they keep separate constellations?

If I had to guess, they would just add them to at least a subset of the Starlinks; and to all of them in later Starlink revisions.  It's likely not going to add much to mass/cost of Starlinks and will add another large market for them.  Having global IoT connectivity for a small incremental cost will be a good revenue stream in the future.  Agriculture and oil/gas pipelines would be a big market where you need cheap, low bandwidth sensors.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually add other sensors/transmitters to the constellation eventually (cameras, IR imaging and SAR come to mind.)

I'm not convinced that they will add the Swarm comms package to the Starlink satellites.  Instead, perhaps they will just use the Starlink bus on dedicated IoT satellites, using any excess power in the same manner that Starlink does, except on VHF instead of Ku/Ka-band.

Similar thought experiment to if SpaceX bought Iridium (which I have been half-expecting).
« Last Edit: 08/09/2021 04:18 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10144
  • US
  • Liked: 13744
  • Likes Given: 5877
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #11 on: 08/09/2021 04:21 pm »
Using the Starlink bus for dedicated low bandwidth UHF IoT sats would be a waste, easier to just add a small payload to a subset of the normal Starlinks.  The additional payload could be tiny (and if they mimicked the Swarm antennas very well they might not even need to change many regulatory filings).

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Liked: 2382
  • Likes Given: 10146
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #12 on: 08/09/2021 04:50 pm »
I was thinking about it from the other end:  how could SpaceX increase the utility of the VHF service if the mass and power constraints were lifted almost entirely?  This assumes that SpaceX actually wants the already-approved license.

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 298
  • Likes Given: 256
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #13 on: 08/09/2021 04:51 pm »
key quote from the report:
"Upon consummation of the proposed transfer of control (the “Proposed Transaction”), the licensee, Swarm Technologies, Inc. (“Swarm”), will be a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”)."


It means that Swarm will continue to do what they do under SpaceX umbrella.

It means that SpaceX is not after  Swarm patents (buying company is more expensive than patents. Always is.).

It means that SpaceX is not after Swarm brains. (the arrangements would be done otherwise).

Here is the best open article which provides info for "general Joe" about who Swarm are.
https://qz.com/1800081/swarm-satellites-installs-ground-station-in-antarctica/
Conclusion: it is "Shotwell" buy to augment SpaceX offerings for big clients (IMO, NSF and Air Force).

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Liked: 2382
  • Likes Given: 10146
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #14 on: 08/09/2021 05:33 pm »
A bit of background.  This company was seeded by Social Capital (Chamath Palihapitiya) and its Series A was led by Craft Ventures.  Especially Craft (Bill Lee, David Sacks) is pretty well entwined with Musk Inc.  So everybody knows everybody else well in this case.

Offline TRS717

  • Member
  • Member
  • Posts: 58
  • Texas
  • Liked: 82
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #15 on: 08/09/2021 05:34 pm »
It looks as if Swarm and SpaceX may share some cultural and operational DNA too, so there's that:

https://spacenews.com/fcc-fines-swarm-900000-for-unauthorized-smallsat-launch/

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10144
  • US
  • Liked: 13744
  • Likes Given: 5877
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #16 on: 08/09/2021 06:08 pm »
I was thinking about it from the other end:  how could SpaceX increase the utility of the VHF service if the mass and power constraints were lifted almost entirely?  This assumes that SpaceX actually wants the already-approved license.

I don't think it's likely that increasing the mass and power would really increase the utility at all.  It's a tiny slice of frequencies.

Online aero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3628
  • 92129
  • Liked: 1145
  • Likes Given: 360
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #17 on: 08/09/2021 07:22 pm »
I was thinking about it from the other end:  how could SpaceX increase the utility of the VHF service if the mass and power constraints were lifted almost entirely?  This assumes that SpaceX actually wants the already-approved license.

I don't think it's likely that increasing the mass and power would really increase the utility at all.  It's a tiny slice of frequencies.

One thing it does is make that tiny slice of frequencies available for add on (non-Starlink) packages on a noninterference basis.
Retired, working interesting problems

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Liked: 2382
  • Likes Given: 10146
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #18 on: 08/09/2021 10:30 pm »
It means that SpaceX is not after Swarm brains. (the arrangements would be done otherwise).

Agreed, but just poking around today, I found Sara Spangelo (Swarm's CEO) to be impressive.  Wouldn't be surprised to see her run Starlink someday, if she would want that.

Online Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #19 on: 08/10/2021 02:15 am »
It's been suggested elsewhere that it could also be a protection move, as swarm spacebees are an operational risk to Starlink sats? Kill off the nominal spacebee constellation and incorporate the hardware onto Starlink sats, so they don't have to dodge the hard to spot spacebees all the time?

That's an interesting notion for venture capital though, be enough of an annoyance to Starlink to get bought out...

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10144
  • US
  • Liked: 13744
  • Likes Given: 5877
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #20 on: 08/10/2021 02:19 am »
It's been suggested elsewhere that it could also be a protection move, as swarm spacebees are an operational risk to Starlink sats? Kill off the nominal spacebee constellation and incorporate the hardware onto Starlink sats, so they don't have to dodge the hard to spot spacebees all the time?

That's an interesting notion for venture capital though, be enough of an annoyance to Starlink to get bought out...

That does not sound plausible

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #21 on: 08/10/2021 03:33 am »
It's been suggested elsewhere that it could also be a protection move, as swarm spacebees are an operational risk to Starlink sats? Kill off the nominal spacebee constellation and incorporate the hardware onto Starlink sats, so they don't have to dodge the hard to spot spacebees all the time?

I think that's a nice bonus, but hard to see this being the main motivation.


I was thinking about it from the other end:  how could SpaceX increase the utility of the VHF service if the mass and power constraints were lifted almost entirely?  This assumes that SpaceX actually wants the already-approved license.

SpaceBees are tiny, only 400g. Even if you increase mass budget by 10x, it's still a tiny addon on a Starlink satellite, won't be the primary payload.

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 298
  • Likes Given: 256
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #22 on: 08/11/2021 09:11 pm »
I was thinking about it from the other end:  how could SpaceX increase the utility of the VHF service if the mass and power constraints were lifted almost entirely?  This assumes that SpaceX actually wants the already-approved license.

I don't think it's likely that increasing the mass and power would really increase the utility at all.  It's a tiny slice of frequencies.
If they will move spacebee hardware on starlink (I don't think they will, but hypothetically), they can improve system performance considerably. Big antennas improve signal selectivity and sensitivity considerably both for receiving and transmitting, ubiquitous internet access simplifies transmission logistics. It means that earth sensor part can be father simplified and improved reducing both size and power consumption (it is very big deal for remote sensor systems).


SpaceX with their 2 week launch cadence are about to offer sensor servicing for measurement campaigns. It is a very big deal for big organizations.
Most importantly SpaceX will provide Swarm Tech their name which means that a small company suddenly becomes an equal competitor to Thales Alenia. Considering that technically Swarm are very solid, it is incredible win for the companies supporting Swarm.
....

Offline joek

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4851
  • Liked: 2775
  • Likes Given: 1092
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #23 on: 08/11/2021 09:35 pm »
A big part of Swarm's play is cheap and ubiquitous ground points (modems). Starlink will not add to that. Co-manifested with Starlink might help eliminating-minimizing dedicated Swarm ground stations, with a direct connect to Starlink back-haul. It would also help with frequency of contact with ground points and overall Swarm bandwidth.

Much more speculative, but also interesting IMO, is application of Swarm to, e.g., Luna and Mars. Looks like an interesting option if you want a cheap low orbit set of sats and a bunch of cheap ground sensors. Achilles heel for that appears to be Swarm's dependence on GPS (both ground and in-orbit segments).

Expect that may be one reason the deal is structured the way it is... Swarm will continue with focus on Earth market; SpaceX leverages Swarm technology for BLEO applications. Again, highly speculative, but seems a potentially good fit.

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 298
  • Likes Given: 256
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #24 on: 08/16/2021 02:00 pm »
"Digital beam-forming" intrinsically includes spacial filtering. I.e. in order to connect to specific dishy the starlink satellite forms very narrow beam targeting specific geographic region. Satellite can know dishy position or from static customers tables or from the second line transmissions. The communication lines like Swarm. which are design to transmit simple codes like say GPS coordinates when needed.
In fact Swarm channels being robust, low latency and cheap are the best hardware alternative to software (traject trackers) I expected SpaceX to use. True mobile Starlink is  closer than we think.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47416
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #25 on: 09/07/2021 03:44 pm »
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1435244519088328704

Quote
[SpaceX CFO Bret] Johnsen, on SpaceX’s acquisition of Swarm Technologies: found a company that had interesting IP and a team we can leverage. We have not done acquisitions in the past, but would consider something in future if it met right requirements. #SATShow

Offline mlindner

  • Software Engineer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2883
  • Space Capitalist
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 2181
  • Likes Given: 810
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #26 on: 09/11/2021 12:19 am »
It means that SpaceX is not after Swarm brains. (the arrangements would be done otherwise).

Agreed, but just poking around today, I found Sara Spangelo (Swarm's CEO) to be impressive.  Wouldn't be surprised to see her run Starlink someday, if she would want that.

I knew her personally to some extent and we worked in the same lab at the same university (I was an undergrad and she was a post doc). 2 years back or so I got a personal tour from her of Swarm's "building" (a single small office room with CNC mill, clean room, and engineering desks) and heard the inside story of the FCC "pirate launch" (the NDA'ed details are very fascinating and not really what the media reported). She's very smart and quick thinking. It wouldn't surprise me to see her promoted a bunch within SpaceX.

Here's the previous thread about Swarm. https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47072.0
« Last Edit: 09/11/2021 12:25 am by mlindner »
LEO is the ocean, not an island (let alone a continent). We create cruise liners to ride the oceans, not artificial islands in the middle of them. We need a physical place, which has physical resources, to make our future out there.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #27 on: 10/20/2021 03:19 am »
https://twitter.com/joroulette/status/1450458212713500685

Quote
FCC approves transfer of Swarm licenses to SpaceX as the two companies merge

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #28 on: 03/23/2022 03:10 am »
Swarm launched satellites on Astra mission

Quote from: SpaceNews
Swarm is a rare case of a company acquired by SpaceX. During a separate panel discussion at Satellite 2022 March 22, Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, said the only other company SpaceX has acquired in its 20-year history was a machine shop several years earlier.

“It was a very interesting company,” she said of Swarm, citing its ability to build out a satellite network despite limited resources. “We were quite interested in how they did they do it, how did they pull it together on that kind of budget with that number of people.”

“And the people are great, so that was really what that was about,” she added. “A very like-minded company, albeit much tinier.”

Offline Cheapchips

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1029
  • UK
  • Liked: 854
  • Likes Given: 1923

Offline CuddlyRocket

Interview with Swarm CEO, Sara Spangelo.

Looking forward to finding out what those "lots of other programs that hopefully we get to talk about in the future" will be. Also the synergies between Starlink consumer internet and Swarm's connected devices.

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6448
  • Liked: 4551
  • Likes Given: 5056
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #31 on: 07/31/2022 03:41 pm »
Interview with Swarm CEO, Sara Spangelo.

Looking forward to finding out what those "lots of other programs that hopefully we get to talk about in the future" will be. Also the synergies between Starlink consumer internet and Swarm's connected devices.

Enticing, but the only “other program” mentioned specifically is forest fire detection in collaboration with a Berlin, Germany company Dryad. It sounds like Swarm IoT “sandwich sized” cubesats would collect the alarms from Dryad’s gateways. Each gateway would cover 100 sensors and each sensor would have a 100 meter detection radius.
There are roughly Pi billion square kilometers of forest in the US.  Covering that with one sensor per Pi*0.1^2 km would take 100 BILLION sensors for “just” the US.
This competes with another Berlin outfit that launched FOREST and which plans to put MidWave IR sensors in a few dozen 3U cubesats, and other wildfire sensing efforts. 
It is not the obvious “killer app” for Swarm.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #32 on: 09/21/2022 05:34 am »
https://twitter.com/longmier/status/1572279906171748352

Quote
GPS track your equipment for $99 and $5/mo via the Swarm satellite network all around the world, including oceans. No roaming fees, no setup fees. Battery or DC power.

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Liked: 2382
  • Likes Given: 10146
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #33 on: 09/21/2022 04:29 pm »
A question on that.  Does Swarm have landing rights in China, etc.?

Offline mlindner

  • Software Engineer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2883
  • Space Capitalist
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 2181
  • Likes Given: 810
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #34 on: 11/03/2022 06:33 pm »
A question on that.  Does Swarm have landing rights in China, etc.?

China would be hard pressed to even find a Swarm transmitter, even if they didn't allow it. Something that transmits only once an hour or less would be darn difficult to triangulate. Also it wouldn't surprise me if Swarm is just waiting until someone starts caring before trying to cover the regulations in this area.
LEO is the ocean, not an island (let alone a continent). We create cruise liners to ride the oceans, not artificial islands in the middle of them. We need a physical place, which has physical resources, to make our future out there.

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8823
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1318
  • Likes Given: 306
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #35 on: 11/03/2022 08:57 pm »
Considering how heavily invested other Musk enterprises are in China, and Starlink only being available where they have legal landing rights to provide service. I can not see them even thinking about incurring the wrath of China of doing something like that. The risk is too great.
« Last Edit: 11/04/2022 09:56 am by kevin-rf »
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Liked: 2896
  • Likes Given: 504
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #36 on: 11/03/2022 10:56 pm »
Moving along from the unimportant geopolitical questions ( ;D), what’s the revenue potential of this service?

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #37 on: 11/04/2022 12:24 am »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1588222248707497984

Quote
SpaceX is now advertising Swarm satellite Internet of Things connectivity on its Starlink website, with IoT service at $5 per month:

https://swarm.space

To be more precise, they added an "IoT" menu item on starlink.com which links to https://swarm.space

Offline M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Liked: 2896
  • Likes Given: 504
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #38 on: 11/04/2022 01:56 am »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1588222248707497984

Quote
SpaceX is now advertising Swarm satellite Internet of Things connectivity on its Starlink website, with IoT service at $5 per month:

https://swarm.space

To be more precise, they added an "IoT" menu item on starlink.com which links to https://swarm.space

This is what I was referring to above. What is the potential revenue impact here?

How many additional $5/month subscribers can this offering potentially target worldwide? 10,000? 1 million? 100 million?


Offline mlindner

  • Software Engineer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2883
  • Space Capitalist
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 2181
  • Likes Given: 810
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #39 on: 11/12/2022 08:45 am »
Considering how heavily invested other Musk enterprises are in China, and Starlink only being available where they have legal landing rights to provide service. I can not see them even thinking about incurring the wrath of China of doing something like that. The risk is too great.

They'd have to add active restrictions and engineering to the system to prevent it transmitting in China. Given that transmitters have no GPS receivers on them and the satellites themselves being omnidirectional, there is no way to disable it from working in China. So Elon doesn't really have a choice in the matter. If he was even aware of it in the first place. I've not heard him mention Swarm ever.
LEO is the ocean, not an island (let alone a continent). We create cruise liners to ride the oceans, not artificial islands in the middle of them. We need a physical place, which has physical resources, to make our future out there.

Offline mlindner

  • Software Engineer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2883
  • Space Capitalist
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 2181
  • Likes Given: 810
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #40 on: 11/12/2022 08:49 am »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1588222248707497984

Quote
SpaceX is now advertising Swarm satellite Internet of Things connectivity on its Starlink website, with IoT service at $5 per month:

https://swarm.space

To be more precise, they added an "IoT" menu item on starlink.com which links to https://swarm.space

This is what I was referring to above. What is the potential revenue impact here?

How many additional $5/month subscribers can this offering potentially target worldwide? 10,000? 1 million? 100 million?

The satellites are built with modern components so I imagine that they could store tens of thousands of packets or more on the satellites. The major limiting factor would be per-satellite bandwidth which isn't really published. At some point there would be enough customers that the queue would build up inside the satellites such that they are receiving more packets than they can downlink. To counteract that, they'd want to create more downlink locations with possibly directional transmitters on the ground to get more throughput. I think they're still well away from reaching any kind of bandwidth limits. Also these things are really cheap to launch more of, to put it lightly. They can rideshare on literally any rocket launched by anyone and probably cost under $10,000 each to build based on my experience with building cubesats.

Swarm IoT service will be a small player at SpaceX. The bigger effect would be that the Swarm people are working on the T-Mobile integration aspect which is worth a lot more.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2022 08:51 am by mlindner »
LEO is the ocean, not an island (let alone a continent). We create cruise liners to ride the oceans, not artificial islands in the middle of them. We need a physical place, which has physical resources, to make our future out there.

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Liked: 2382
  • Likes Given: 10146
Re: SpaceX buying Swarm Technologies (satellite IoT provider)
« Reply #41 on: 09/20/2023 05:04 pm »
Thought I would necro this thread to put a bit of an end-cap to it.  Apparently, Swarm Technologies approach is being folded into the Starlink sat-to-phone effort, such that its VHF frequencies for IOT will be deprecated in favor of using the phone service providers' frequencies for IOT.

https://techcrunch.com/2023/07/20/spacexs-swarm-technologies-is-halting-new-device-sales/

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1