An innovative company looking to make satellite communications more accessible and affordable is set to create over 100 high-tech jobs in London and Oxfordshire.
The Israeli company hiSky has established a UK limited company (hiSkySat Ltd) based in London and with an R&D centre at Harwell to develop a satellite communications network management system (NMS) and operation centre.
The UK Space Agency (UKSA) provided £9 million of funding for hiSky to develop cutting-edge space telecoms technology at the Harwell Space Cluster, which is growing fast and already home to more than 90 space companies.
hiSky aims to be the world’s first low-cost satellite network operator, bringing innovative technology to voice and data satellite communications, and leveraging existing satellite capacity to reduce costs associated with building and launching new satellites.
Part of the new project will integrate and develop 5G networks into their ‘Smartellite’ satellite receiving terminal and carry out a demonstration to show how it can connect seamlessly between different satellites and operators. This will help roll out the next generation of Internet of Things technology, connecting machines and vehicles around the world and enabling remote monitoring of infrastructure such as power lines and wind turbines.
Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: "The UK government’s modern Industrial Strategy and commitment to the European Space Agency are bringing innovative companies like OneWeb, SatixFy and hiSky to Britain.
"Our world-leading universities, modern regulatory environment, growing R&D spend and support for UK spaceports make this a great place to build a space business and create the high-skilled jobs of the future."
UKSA funding is allocated through the European Space Agency (ESA). This is targeted to support the development of hiSky’s satellite receiving terminals, operations and management software for the devices and to help establish hiSky as a Virtual Network Operator – a supplier of network services using existing infrastructure – in the UK.
Shahar Kravitz, CEO of hiSky, said: "We are honoured to be partners with UKSA and it is our privilege to establish the first real low-cost global Virtual Satellite Network and to do it in the UK. hiSky’s cutting edge technology and solution was developed in order to meet with the consumers needs and can easily adjust to different satellite operators, including forthcoming low Earth orbit telecoms constellations.