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ORBCOMM to acquire Inmarsat M2M partner, SkyWave

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions provider ORBCOMM has announced that it will acquire Canadian firm SkyWave, the largest M2M service provider on Inmarsat’s L-band satellite network, for $130 million.

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ORBCOMM’s constellation of LEO satellites provide M2M communication that allows for the tracking and monitoring of assets in shipping, commercial transportation, heavy industry and security, including satellite-based AIS tracking of ships at sea. The New Jersey-based company says the SkyWave purchase will strengthen its M2M portfolio.

“We expect the combination of SkyWave and ORBCOMM to deliver significant value for both our shareholders and customers,” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s CEO.

“By combining our complementary products, distribution channels and broad geographic footprints – with support from Inmarsat – we are adding significant scale to our business. Our customers will benefit from access to one of the industry’s broadest set of complete solutions, global regulatory authorisations and satellite-based connectivity options.”

M2M connectivity, or the ‘internet of things’, allows devices to communicate with each other and share information via the internet. Satellite communications can play an important role in M2M development as the market grows, according to Inmarsat’s CEO Rupert Pearce.

“We are excited to enter the next phase of collaboration with ORBCOMM,” he said.

“Our two companies are well positioned to exploit the growing opportunity for satellite to enable the ‘Internet of Things.’ ORBCOMM’s track record of innovation, combined with Inmarsat’s global network reach, will bring compelling offerings to the market, further advancing Inmarsat’s M2M growth strategy.”

ORBCOMM expects to make SkyWave’s products available through SkyWave’s current channel, ORBCOMM’s distribution channel and Inmarsat’s network of distributors.

Inmarsat will acquire and operate SkyWave’s satellite network assets, located primarily at three Inmarsat earth stations in Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, for $7.5 million.

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