Skylo: Ending ‘Not Spots’ with Satellite 5G

Intel Capital has looked at investments in space tech companies over the last 20+ years, and until recently, we haven’t seen the right combination of capital efficiency, scalability and use case tailwinds that could drive venture scale returns. But with the expansion of launch and space infrastructure providers with the resulting reduction in cost and capex, and the emergence of high-value add applications, the scale opportunity has become much more compelling.    

In Skylo’s case, this is especially true.

Skylo provides 5G Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) communications services for smartphones, IoT devices and mobile network operators. Its service works on common high-volume devices, and doesn’t require specially developed satellite devices. Skylo builds upon 3GPP 5G standards which bring a wealth of ecosystem support from industry leaders in chipsets, network equipment, regulatory bodies, device makers and satellite services. 

Skylo has done an incredible job enabling the existing infrastructure to work with their service. It’s worked with 5G modem chipset providers, module makers, device makers, satellite services companies and MNOs to ensure the end-to-end solution is high quality, optimized and reliable. The company also developed a cost-effective 5G Core and RAN termination deployed at existing ground stations, making onboarding of the service to existing networks seamless. This drastically reduces the capex requirement of providing services and enables lower costs, both of which contribute to the scalability of Skylo’s services. 

The use cases for satellite-to-device connectivity are wide-ranging.  Improving safety and security in remote areas is a common theme. The automotive industry wants to be able to offer connected car applications for remote areas, as evidenced by BMW iVentures participation in the round. Enterprises can enable communications for workers in forestry, oil and gas, agriculture and other remote operations at very low cost with standard smartphones. Another obvious area for Skylo is shipping and transportation. Outdoor enthusiasts traveling to remote/uncovered areas is another interesting category. Again, we believe the diversity of applications and use cases will help with scalability for the business. 

This all adds up to the ability to deliver services to mass market devices at previously unheard of price points for satellite connectivity, and with frictionless access and international roaming that consumers/customers will enjoy.   

We also have personal enthusiasm for Skylo’s use cases. As an avid hiker, Dave is excited to use a Skylo-enabled device on his upcoming trips to the Yosemite High Sierra trails and Switzerland’s Matterhorn area to ensure he can track locations and send messages. And a dedicated skier, Elana knows that mountain backsides and trails are often not covered by terrestrial networks. Having a reliable way to communicate or call for emergency services can make a significant difference in safety and peace of mind. It’s thrilling to see how technology advancements like Skylo can enhance the safety and experience of outdoor enthusiasts in such diverse environments.

Today Skylo Technologies announced a $37 million investment round that we’re honored to co-lead alongside Innovation Endeavors. We’re looking forward to partnering with Skylo as they revolutionize 5G connectivity. In our meetings with ecosystem players, Skylo CEO Parth Trivedi, CTO Andrew Nuttall, CPO Tarun Gupta, and the entire team were highly praised for their technology, innovative approach and overall responsiveness. We’re super excited to work with this stellar company.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to connect with you on Skylo’s 5G services on ramp.