PeopleNet to offer satellite option

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PeopleNet will add satellite communications to its multi-network framework, the company announced. Satellite will augment PeopleNet’s wireless network to provide real time accessibility in even the most remote areas of Canada and the U.S., making PeopleNet coverage truly universal, the company says.

PeopleNet fleets will be able to select the best mix of network options, including satellite, on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis. PeopleNet’s multi-network capability allows for least-cost routing of all communications.

PeopleNet satellite is in development and will be available later this year.

“PeopleNet’s current multi-network wireless service provides more coverage than most fleets require, but certain markets have a need for satellite where terrestrial communications are not available. Our satellite option fills in the blanks and extend’s PeopleNet’s reach to the remotest regions of Canada and across the continent,” said Brian McLaughlin, executive vice president, marketing, product and sales. “It also allows PeopleNet to expand into new markets both geographically and vertically.”

“Among other things, this satellite option means PeopleNet can meet the most stringent requirements of government and corporate shippers, particularly where hazardous shipments are concerned,” McLaughlin said. “For example, satellite coverage is necessary to do some kinds of business with the U.S. Department of Defense.”

The new, compact satellite modem will install alongside PeopleNet’s onboard computer, which will only use the satellite communications option when lower cost, ground-based wireless is unavailable. The choice of communications will be automatic, invisible and seamless to drivers and operating staff.

PeopleNet’s customers will control what kinds of data can be sent when the satellite option is invoked. For example, vehicle location information and messages can be sent via satellite when necessary while more data-heavy transmissions like onboard training videos can be held for wide band wireless access.