United Arab Emirates Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) announced on Monday that its subsidiary, Thuraya Telecommunications, has signed an agreement to invest $17.5 million in Astrocast, a low earth orbit (LEO) internet of things (IoT) network operator. It marks Thuraya’s first investment in an LEO satellite constellation.
According to Yahsat’s filing with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the investment will be made as a convertible loan. In addition to the acquisition, both companies will extend a technical cooperation agreement signed in 2019 between Astrocast and Thuraya for another four years.
Astrocast is a Switzerland-based company operating a global nanosatellite IoT network that offers low-power, wide-area connectivity solutions. The company’s IoT network enables low-cost and low-energy devices to connect to the internet and other devices, providing solutions for applications such as smart agriculture, supply chain management, and asset tracking.
Astrocast plans to launch 80 nanosatellites into LEO by 2024 to expand its IoT network and offer global coverage. This investment from Thuraya will provide Astrocast with additional funding to achieve its goals and expand its services.
Yahsat, which the Abu Dhabi government owns, operates a satellite fleet that provides commercial and government communication services in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Southwest Asia. The company also plans to launch its own LEO satellite constellation, Thuraya 4-NGS, in 2024 to provide global mobile broadband connectivity.
The investment in Astrocast aligns with Yahsat’s strategy to expand its portfolio of services and technologies and become a significant player in the global space industry. The company invests heavily in building new satellites, ground stations, and other infrastructure to support its growing business.