Swarm Technologies, which in December 2018 was condemned by the FCC for ‘illegally’ launching 4 mini-satellites without approval and fined $900,000 as punishment, is now legal.
The FCC has now approved California-based Swarm’s plan to launch an initial 150 of its sandwich-sized mini satellites – and perhaps as many as 600 over time – in order to provide Internet of Things connectivity.
The company’s SpaceBEE satellites will ‘fly’ at about 500 kms and supply two-way connectivity and monitoring services to agricultural users, trucking companies, energy and wind-farm monitoring, emergency connectivity, shipping and maritime users, and even connected vehicles and cars.
The company now has 7 satellites in orbit and says it will start services towards the end of 2020.
It has raised $25 million to fund what it describes as the world’s lowest-cost satellite network.
Despite their extremely modest size the SpaceBEE craft in orbit are reportedly working better than expected in terms of connectivity and area of coverage.