William Cooper Exposed Orbcomm Corporation back in 1994 On The Hour Of The Time radio show. Wow! Hear Show Below.
OrbComm Overview and History:
ORBCOMM (NASDAQ: ORBC) is an American company that offers industrial Internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) communications solutions[buzzword] designed to track, monitor, and control fixed and mobile assets in markets including transportation, heavy equipment, maritime, oil and gas, utilities and government. The company provides hardware devices, modems, web applications and data services delivered over multiple satellite and cellular networks.
As of November 2017, ORBCOMM has more than 2 million billable subscriber communicators, serving Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Caterpillar Inc., Doosan Infracore America, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., John Deere, Komatsu Limited, and Volvo Construction Equipment, as well as other customers such as J. B. Hunt, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Canadian National Railways, CR England, Hub Group, KLLM Transport Services, Marten Transport, Swift Transportation, Target, Tropicana, Tyson Foods, Walmart and Werner Enterprises.
ORBCOMM owns and operates a global network of 31 LEO communications satellites and accompanying ground infrastructure including 16 Gateway Earth Stations (GESs) around the world. ORBCOMM is licensed to provide service in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide.
Founding and development of low Earth orbit satellite system.
The ORBCOMM low Earth orbit (LEO) system was conceived by Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) in the late 1980s. In 1990, Orbital filed the world’s first license application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the operation of a network of small LEO spacecraft to provide global satellite services of commercial messaging and data communications services via the company’s ORBCOMM program.
During the initial stages of the program, Orbital pursued a multi-pronged approach: regulatory approvals; ground infrastructure development and procurement of sites; modem development and country licensing. In 1992, the World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC) supported the spectrum allocation for non-voice, non-geostationary mobile satellite service. With WARC approval, Orbital set up a specific ORBCOMM program for the development of satellites and ground infrastructure, and ORBCOMM became a wholly owned subsidiary of Orbital. In 1995, ORBCOMM was granted a full license to operate a network with up to 200,000 mobile Earth stations (MESs).
ORBCOMM began procuring Gateway Earth Station (GES) locations and contracted with a division of Orbital Sciences, located in Mesa, AZ, to develop and build four sets of GESs and associated spares. Land for the four GESs was procured or leased in Arizona, Washington, New York and Georgia.
After the 1992 WARC approval, ORBCOMM signed contracts with three modem developers and manufacturers: Kyushu Matsushita Electric Company, a division of Panasonic; Elisra Electronic Systems, an Israeli company with expertise in electronic warfare systems; and Torrey Science & Technology, a small San Diego-based company with long ties to Orbital Sciences. Panasonic provided the first ORBCOMM-approved MES in March 1995. Elisra followed with the EL2000 in late 1995, and Torrey Science provided the ComCore 200 in April 1996.
During the development of equipment, ORBCOMM also pursued licensing and regulatory approvals in several countries. By 1995, ORBCOMM had obtained regulatory approval in 19 countries, with a number of additional countries well into the regulatory process. ORBCOMM was also in initial negotiations with groups in Indonesia, EMEA and Italy for becoming ORBCOMM licensees, as well as GES operators in their respective regions.
During the conceptual stages of the LEO satellite communications system, Orbital Sciences purchased a small company in Boulder, Colorado specializing in small-satellite design. This company built the first three satellites in the ORBCOMM system: ORBCOMM X, Communications Demonstration Satellite (CDS) 1 and CDS 2. ORBCOMM X was lost after a single orbit. To validate the feasibility of commercially tracking and communicating with a LEO satellite, Orbital built an additional communications payload and flew this payload on an SR-71 in 1992. These tests were successful, and work on CDS 1 and 2 continued. CDS 1 and CDS 2 were launched in February and April 1992 respectively. These satellites were used to further validate the design of the network and were showcased in Orbital’s plans to sign up an equity partner for the completion of the ORBCOMM System.
In June 1992, Orbital created an equal partnership called ORBCOMM Global L.P. with Teleglobe Mobile Partners (Teleglobe Mobile), an affiliate of Teleglobe Inc., for the design and development of the LEO satellite system. Teleglobe Mobile invested million in the project and also provided international service distribution. Orbital agreed to construct and launch satellites for the ORBCOMM system and to construct the satellite control center, the network control center and four U.S. gateway Earth stations.
In April 1995, two satellites (F Plane) were launched, and in the summer the ORBCOMM global mobile data communications network was tested. Teleglobe Mobile invested an additional million in the project that year and joined Orbital as a full joint-venture partner in ORBCOMM. In February 1996, ORBCOMM initiated the world’s first commercial service for global mobile data communications provided by LEO satellites. ORBCOMM also raised an additional million. In October 1996, ORBCOMM licensed Malaysian partner Technology Resources Industries Bhd. (TRI) to sell ORBCOMM’s global two-way messaging service in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. TRI became the owner of a 15% stake in ORBCOMM, Teleglobe owning 35% and the rest held by Orbital.
In December 1997, ORBCOMM launched 8 satellites (A Plane). In 1998 ORBCOMM launched 2 satellites (G Plane) in February, 8 satellites (B Plane) in August and 8 satellites (C Plane) in September. After a short hiatus, ORBCOMM launched 7 more satellites (D Plane) in December 1999.
With the launch and operation of the C Plane satellites, ORBCOMM became the first commercial provider of global LEO satellite data and messaging communications services. ORBCOMM inaugurated full commercial service with its satellite-based global data communications network on November 30, 1998. In March 1998, the FCC expanded ORBCOMM’s original license from 36 to 48 satellites.
In January 2000, Orbital halted funding of ORBCOMM, and Teleglobe and Orbital signed a new partnership agreement with 67% ownership to Teleglobe and 33% to Orbital. In May 2000, Teleglobe ceased funding ORBCOMM. Like its voice-centric competitors Iridium and Globalstar, it filed for Chapter 11 protection, in September 2000.
In 2001, a group of private investors purchased ORBCOMM and its assets out of an auction process, and ORBCOMM LLC was organized on April 4, 2001. On April 23, 2001, this group of investors acquired substantially all of the non-cash assets of ORBCOMM Global L.P. and its subsidiaries, which included the in-orbit satellites and supporting U.S. ground infrastructure equipment that the company owns today. At the same time, ORBCOMM LLC also acquired the FCC licenses required to own and operate the communications system from a subsidiary of Orbital Sciences Corporation, which was not in bankruptcy, in a related transaction. ORBCOMM issued a public offering of stock in November 2006. The company sold 9.23 million shares of common stock.
In September, 2007, ORBCOMM Inc. was sued for its IPO prospectus containing inaccurate statements of material fact. It failed to disclose that demand for the company’s products was weakening. In 2009, a payment of was agreed.
In September 2009, ORBCOMM signed a contract with SpaceX to launch ORBCOMM’s next-generation OG2 satellite constellation.
ORBCOMM launched its commercial Satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) service in 2009. AIS technology is used mainly for collision avoidance, but also for maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, and environmental monitoring. AIS launched two additional satellites, VesselSat-1 and VesselSat-2, in January 2011 and October 2012 respectively.
On July 14, 2014 ORBCOMM launched six next-generation OG2 satellites aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
In December 2015, the company launched eleven OG2 satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This dedicated launch marked ORBCOMM’s second and final OG2 mission to complete its next-generation satellite constellation.
ORBCOMM provides satellite data services. As of May 2016, ORBCOMM has more than 1.6 million billable subscriber communicators. ORBCOMM has control centers in the United States, Brazil, Japan, and South Korea, as well as U.S. ground stations in New York, Georgia, Arizona, Washington and international ground stations in Curaçao, Italy, Australia, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Argentina, Morocco, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia. Plans for additional ground station locations are under way.
The ORBCOMM satellite network is best suited for users who send small amounts of data. To avoid interference, terminals are not permitted to be active more than 1% of the time, and thus they may only execute a 450 ms data burst twice every 15 minutes. The latency inherent in ORBCOMM’s network design prevents it from supporting certain safety-critical applications.
ORBCOMM’s acquisition of SkyWave Mobile Communications in January 2015 gave the company access to higher bandwidth, lower-latency satellite products and services that leverage IsatData Pro (IDP) technology over Inmarsat‘s global L-band satellite network.
ORBCOMM’s direct competition includes Globalstar‘s simplex services (which ORBCOMM also resells) and L-band leased capacity services such as those offered by SkyBitz. ORBCOMM’s most significant competitor is Iridium Communications, which offers the Iridium SBD service, which features data packet, latency and antenna capabilities similar to that of IDP technology, which is now jointly owned by ORBCOMM and Inmarsat.
ORBCOMM satellite services can be easily integrated with business applications. Customer data can be retrieved or auto-forwarded via SMTP or HTTP/XML feed directly over the Internet or through a dedicated link.
ORBCOMM also partners with seven different cellular providers to offer wireless connectivity, cellular airtime data plans and SIM cards for M2M and IoT applications.
ORBCOMM’s other network service business is Automatic Identification System, or AIS, which is a widely deployed system used to track ocean vessels. Six satellites with AIS capability were launched in June 2008, referred to as the Quick Launch satellites. However, all six satellites eventually failed prematurely. When ORBCOMM’s next generation satellites launched on July 14, 2014, each one was equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload to receive and report transmissions from AIS-equipped vessels for ship tracking and other maritime applications. ORBCOMM combines its satellite AIS data with a variety of terrestrial feeds to track over 150,000 vessels daily for over 100 customers in a variety of government and commercial organizations.
The Global Leader in Asset Tracking, Monitoring and Control
ORBCOMM (Nasdaq: ORBC) is a global leader and innovator in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), providing solutions that connect businesses to their assets to deliver increased visibility and operational efficiency. The company offers a broad set of asset monitoring and control solutions, including seamless satellite and cellular connectivity, unique hardware and powerful applications, all backed by end-to-end customer support, from installation to deployment to customer care. ORBCOMM has a diverse customer base including premier OEMs, solutions customers and channel partners spanning transportation, supply chain, warehousing and inventory, heavy equipment, maritime, natural resources and government.
The largest satellite IoT and M2M player in the world
The industry standard for satellite communications
The most versatile single source for satellite, cellular and dual-mode offerings
The innovative leader in IoT and M2M technologies
The industry’s largest, most diverse technical team
Brochure – ORBCOMM: Connecting the World’s Assets (.pdf)
Over the last 20 years, ORBCOMM has successfully established a strong position of leadership, innovation and expertise in the global IoT and M2M industry.
Acquisitions have played a key role in shaping ORBCOMM’s evolution and what has enabled the company to offer the most comprehensive suite of capabilities in the industrial IoT and M2M industry today. Some key recent milestones in this area include:
Blue Tree Systems (2017)
The acquisition of Blue Tree adds truck in-cab and refrigerated fleet vehicle solutions to ORBCOMM’s expansive transportation portfolio. Customers now have access to the industry’s most comprehensive, integrated offering encompassing nearly all transportation assets—from in-cab to fleet vehicles to refrigerated assets to dry vans—from one source, solidifying ORBCOMM’s global leadership position in transportation and industrial IoT. Blue Tree’s market leadership also adds strength and distribution in key geographies such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
With a superior portfolio of telematics solutions, inthinc, Inc. provides a solid entry point for ORBCOMM into the vehicle fleet management market. inthinc’s offering complements and strengthens the company’s existing transportation and heavy equipment product portfolio, allowing customers to access a broader set of asset monitoring solutions. ORBCOMM will expand inthinc’s core telematics services to its existing transportation and heavy equipment markets and broaden inthinc’s global footprint through its widespread distribution channels.
With the acquisition of Skygistics (PTY) Ltd. and its South African and Australian subsidiaries, ORBCOMM adds distribution for ORBCOMM’s broad range of products in some of the fastest growing IoT markets, including South Africa and 22 other African nations. Based outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, Skygistics provides a broad range of satellite and cellular connectivity options as well as telematics solutions centered around the management of remote and mobile assets to more than 250 telematics and enterprise customers.
WAM Technologies (2015)
ORBCOMM acquired WAM Technologies LLC (WAM), an affiliate of Mark-It Services, Inc. and leading provider of remote management and control solutions for ocean transport refrigerated containers and intermodal equipment. The acquisition of WAM expands and strengthens ORBCOMM’s industry-leading cold chain monitoring solutions, which include trailers, rail cars, gensets and now sea containers. With the addition of WAM’s installed base, ORBCOMM becomes the clear leader in monitoring cargo shipments.
SkyWave Mobile Communications (2015)
The acquisition of SkyWave—the largest M2M service provider on the Inmarsat global L-band satellite network—furthers ORBCOMM’s strategy to provide the most complete set of options and capabilities in the M2M industry. With the addition of SkyWave, ORBCOMM now has one of the largest combined engineering teams in the M2M industry as well as new economies of scale, distribution channels and geographies. The addition of SkyWave’s higher bandwidth, low-latency satellite products and services that leverage the IsatDataPro (IDP) technology further expands the breadth of ORBCOMM’s solutions portfolio.
InSync Software (2015)
The addition of InSync Software—a premier provider of Internet of Things (IoT) enterprise solutions and versatile, turn-key software applications—adds significant application capabilities and allows customers to rapidly deploy M2M and IoT solutions across ORBCOMM’s core markets. By expanding InSync’s uniform software platform beyond RFID, cellular and sensor technologies to include satellite, customers benefit from reduced development costs, time to market and improved ROI.
With its acquisition of Euroscan—a leading M2M provider of refrigerated transportation temperature compliance recording systems—ORBCOMM adds its integrated, turnkey systems that are used worldwide to ensure the safe and secure transportation of food and pharmaceuticals by monitoring and assuring temperature compliance throughout the supply chain. Euroscan also adds a significant distribution channel in Europe and other key geographies, while Ameriscan adds scale and an expanded portfolio of cold chain monitoring services that complement ORBCOMM’s North American transportation operations.
SENS Asset Tracking (2013)
The acquisition of Comtech’s Sensor Enabled Notification System (SENS) operation—a market leader in one-way satellite products and services—supports ORBCOMM’s multi-network operator strategy and strengthens its position as the leading provider of satellite and cellular communications for the M2M industry. The SENS system, which consists of satellite-based tracking devices, a network hub and an Internet-based back-office platform, enables customers in the government, defense, transportation, logistics, and oil and gas industries to retrieve and view critical data from the field via the Globalstar satellite network.
The GlobalTrak acquisition is a significant step in building the company’s diverse portfolio of end-to-end solutions and enables ORBCOMM to expand its integrated M2M services into new industrial and geographic markets. Combining GlobalTrak’s advanced container and vehicle tracking technology with ORBCOMM’s existing capabilities creates a new suite of product offerings across an expanded global distribution network. GlobalTrak gives ORBCOMM access to military, international, government, and commercial customers as well as expanded geographical reach in growing regions such as the Middle East, Asia and South America.
By acquiring MobileNet, ORBCOMM can directly address opportunities within the heavy equipment industry through Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), dealers and fleet owners. Through MobileNet’s flexible, proven telematics platform, ORBCOMM can offer the industry a complete fleet management solution while reducing development costs and time to market. MobileNet’s key customers include Doosan North America, a world-class construction equipment company, and leading rail companies Union Pacific, CSX and BNSF.
PAR LMS (2012)
The acquisition of PAR Logistics Management Systems (PAR LMS)—a leading provider of advanced solutions for monitoring transport assets and cargo—expands ORBCOMM’s satellite, terrestrial and dual-mode offerings, and advances sales growth in attractive business segments. The addition of PAR LMS furthers ORBCOMM’s growth strategy by enhancing value-added services, improving economies of scale in manufacturing and service delivery and providing an expanded customer base with some of the most advanced products in the telematics industry.
StarTrak Systems (2011)
The acquisition of StarTrak and its ReeferTrak® and GenTrakTM brands are an important milestone in the continued evolution of ORBCOMM as an innovative, satellite-based M2M communications services company. A leading provider of tracking, monitoring and control services for the refrigerated transport market, StarTrak provides customers with the ability to proactively monitor, manage and remotely control their refrigerated transport assets. In addition to relationships with leading refrigerated unit manufacturers such as Carrier and Thermo King, StarTrak’s customers include well-known brands such as Tropicana, Maersk Line, Prime Inc, CR England, FFE Transport, Inc. and Exel Transportation.
“Although Verichip has been liquidated and is no longer around. The fact that it was being produced is concerning and shows most likely they have a implantable microchip ready to be used. Satellight infrastructure has to be in place first though.” Old article below from WND.” Michael Difensore.
Deal forged to equip VeriChip with GPS.
WND StaffPublished December 23, 2004 at 1:00am
Setting the stage for controversial tracking technology, the satellite telecommunications company ORBCOMM has signed an agreement with VeriChip Corp., maker of the world’s first implantable radio frequency identification microchip.
VeriChip, a subsidiary of Applied Digital, will work with ORBCOMM to develop and market new military, security and health-care applications in the U.S. and around the world, the company said.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Applied Digital has created and successfully field-tested a prototype of an implant for humans with GPS, or global positioning satellite, technology.
Once inserted into a human, it can be tracked by GPS technology and the information relayed wirelessly to the Internet, where an individual’s location, movements and vital signs can be stored in a database for future reference.
“ORBCOMM’s relationship with VeriChip provides yet another new and important industry that will use the ORBCOMM satellite system and its ground infrastructure network to transmit messages globally,” ORBCOMM CEO Jerry Eisenberg said.
Initially, after privacy concerns and verbal protests over marketing the technology for government use, Applied backed away from public discussion about such implants and the possibility of using them to usher in a “cashless society.”
When WND reported in April 2002 that the company planned such implant technology, Applied Digital spokesman Matthew Cossolotto accused WND of intentionally printing falsehoods.
Less than three weeks later, however, the company issued a press release announcing that it was accelerating development on a GPS implant.
What Is Internet Of Things?
From hairbrushes to scales, consumer and industrial devices are having chips inserted into them to collect and communicate data
Smart toasters, connected rectal thermometers and fitness collars for dogs are just some of the everyday “dumb items” being connected to the web as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Connected machines and objects in factories offer the potential for a ‘fourth industrial revolution’, and experts predict more than half of new businesses will run on the IoT by 2020.
Here’s everything you need to know about the increasingly connected world.
What is the Internet of Things?
In the broadest sense, the term IoT encompasses everything connected to the internet, but it is increasingly being used to define objects that “talk” to each other. “Simply, the Internet of Things is made up of devices – from simple sensors to smartphones and wearables – connected together,” Matthew Evans, the IoT programme head at techUK, says.
By combining these connected devices with automated systems, it is possible to “gather information, analyse it and create an action” to help someone with a particular task, or learn from a process. In reality, this ranges from smart mirrors to beacons in shops and beyond.
“It’s about networks, it’s about devices, and it’s about data,” Caroline Gorski, the head of IoT at Digital Catapult explains. IoT allows devices on closed private internet connections to communicate with others and “the Internet of Things brings those networks together. It gives the opportunity for devices to communicate not only within close silos but across different networking types and creates a much more connected world.”
Why do connected devices need to share data?
An argument has been raised that only because something can be connected to the internet doesn’t mean it should be, but each device collects data for a specific purpose that may be useful to a buyer and impact the wider economy.
Within industrial applications, sensors on product lines can increase efficiency and cut down on waste. One study estimates 35 per cent of US manufacturers are using data from smart sensors within their set-ups already. US firm Concrete Sensors has created a device that can be inserted into concrete to provide data on the material’s condition, for instance.
“IoT offers us opportunity to be more efficient in how we do things, saving us time, money and often emissions in the process,” Evans says. It allows companies, governments and public authorities to re-think how they deliver services and produce goods.
“The quality and scope of the data across the Internet of Things generates an opportunity for much more contextualised and responsive interactions with devices to create a potential for change,” continued Gorski. It “doesn’t stop at a screen”.
Where does the IoT go next?
Even those who have purchased one of the myriad smart home products – from lightbulbs, switches, to motion sensors – will attest to the fact IoT is in its infancy. Products don’t always easily connect to each other and there are significant security issues that need to be addressed.
A report from Samsung says the need to secure every connected device by 2020 is “critical”. The firm’s Open Economy document says “there is a very clear danger that technology is running ahead of the game”. The firm said more than 7.3 billion devices will need to be made secure by their manufacturers before 2020.
“We are looking at a future in which companies will indulge in digital Darwinism, using IoT, AI and machine learning to rapidly evolve in a way we’ve never seen before,” Brian Solis, from Altimeter Group, who helped on the research said.
IoT botnets, created using a network of out-of-date devices took large websites and services offline in 2016. A Chinese firm later recalled 4.3 million unsecured connected cameras. The ease of bringing down the internet using IoT devices was revealed when instead of malicious purposes, the botnet was revealed to have been created to game Minecraft.
But aren’t there privacy implications?
Everything that’s connected to the internet can be hacked, IoT products are no exception to this unwritten rule. Insecure IoT systems led to toy manufacturer VTech losing videos and pictures of children using its connected devices.
There’s also the issue of surveillance. If every product becomes connected then there’s the potential for unbridled observation of users. If a connected fridge tracks food usage and consumption, takeaways could be targeted at hungry people who have no food. If a smartwatch can detect when you’re having sex, what is to stop people with that data using it against the watches’ wearer.
“In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” James Clapper, the US direction or national intelligence said in 2016. Wikileaks later claimed the CIA has been developing security exploits for a connected Samsung TV.
We need reliable standards
At the centre of creating a vast, reliable IoT network lies one significant issue: compatible standards. Connected objects need to be able to speak to each other to transfer data and share what they are recording. If they all run on different standards, they struggle to communicate and share. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Standards Association lists a huge number of standards being developed and worked on for different applications.
“Additional needs are emerging for standardisation,” the Internet Society says. If standardisation happens it will let more devices and applications be connected.
To try and tackle this issue on an enterprise scale, Microsoft has introduced its own system for IoT devices. Called IoT Central, TechCrunch, reports the system gives businesses a managed central platform for setting up IoT devices. Microsoft claims the system will simply the creation of IoT networks.
Gorski described IoT, even among those with the most experience of the concept, as a “relatively immature market” but said 2016 may have been a turning point. The Hypercat standard is now supported by ARM, Intel, Amey, Bae Systems and Accenture and the firms are currently agreeing on a format for “exposing collections” of URLs, for example.
“In the short term, we know [IoT] will impact on anything where there is a high cost of not intervening,” Evans said. “And it’ll be for simpler day-to-day issues – like finding a car parking space in busy areas, linking up your home entertainment system and using your fridge webcam to check if you need more milk on the way home.
“Ultimately what makes it exciting is that we don’t yet know the exact use cases and just that it has the potential to have a major impact on our lives.”
This article was originally published in January 2017. It has since been updated with further IoT information.