Blues Partners with Skylo on the $49 Starnote, Offering Low-Cost Satellite Connectivity for the IoT

Coming with enough pre-paid data to send a 50-byte message once a day for around a year, the Starnote can cover your IoT not-spots.

Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity specialist Blues has announced a partnership with Skylo Technologies to launch Starnote, an extension for its existing Notecard platform to provide affordable and accessible satellite connectivity — offering a fallback from cellular or Wi-Fi for a hardware cost of just $49.

"For developers and enterprises everywhere, satellite connectivity is now a viable option. Starnote is breaking new ground by providing continuous satellite coverage with low data usage costs and no monthly usage fees or minimums," says Ray Ozzie, Blues founder and chief executive officer, of the new offering.

"Historically," Ozzie continues, "high pricing and high monthly minimums have kept satellite coverage out of consideration for low-cost, high-volume products. By partnering with Skylo, Blues will fundamentally change the landscape, setting the stage for remarkable growth. Starnote is so affordable and easy to use that any developer can now develop fixed or mobile solutions for monitoring and remote control without worry about coverage in remote areas."

The Starnote module is designed for use by those already working with any Notecard, providing Skylo-powered satellite connectivity as a fallback when cellular or Wi-Fi is unavailable — all managed through the existing Notecard application programming interface (API). There's no monthly fee, Blues promises, with users paying only when the connection is in active use. Each Starnote comes complete with 18kB of pre-paid data — enough, Blues says, for "a 50-byte message once a day for about a year."

"Skylo is honored to partner with Blues to expand intuitive and affordable satellite connectivity," says Tarun Gupta, Skylo Technologies co-founder and chief product officer Tarun Gupta of the two companies' collaboration. "By incorporating satellite data into its regular IoT devices, Blues is able to bring an unprecedented amount of innovation into the IoT ecosystem."

Despite only being announced today, the initial batch of Starnote modules have sold out; Blues has opened a waitlist on its website for those interested in picking one up at its launch price of $49.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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