The Global Certification Forum (GCF) and Sateliot, the first satellite low earth orbit (LEO) constellation offering NB-IoT connectivity from space under the 3GPP standard, announced Sateliot as the industry’s first satellite operator to become a member of GCF.

The collaboration will align and speed up the market availability of certified 3GPP Rel-17 non-terrestrial network (NTN) LEO-supported IoT chipsets and modules. The GCF certification program assures device-network interoperability, as well as contributing to a reduction in testing costs, and accelerated time-to-market. In addition, both companies aim to bring ecosystem players together to support the massive adoption of IoT across the globe.

GCF recently introduced the 3GPP Rel-17 NB-IoT/eMTC support for NTN specification into its certification program, which will support satellite-based IoT access from devices to address massive use cases in sectors such as agriculture, transport, logistics and more.

Gianluca Redolfi, Sateliot’s CCO, said, “This unprecedented agreement in the space industry sends a clear message that Sateliot’s technology is ground-breaking and disrupting the satellite industry. It’s no secret that, in the future, most IoT devices will work under standard protocols as is happening on terrestrial communications.”

Lars Nielsen, GCF’s CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce the first standards-based satellite operator joining the Global Certification Forum. We anticipate other satellite operators and manufacturers will follow, making interoperable, 3GPP standards-based cellular NTN access a reality soon.”

The first outcomes of this interoperability between satellite and cellular are expected by the end of 2023, allowing single devices to access two different connectivity modes (terrestrial and non-terrestrial).