European Space Agency

SVNO - hiSky Satellite Virtual Network Operator (SVNO)


The hiSky project is focused on the development and demonstration of an advanced satellite communication system, tools and services model that will allow the establishment of a fully functional Satellite Virtual Network Operator, SVNO operation. The activity includes the development of advanced small form factor, low cost SmartelliteTM Dynamic (for communication on the move) and SmartelliteTM Static Terminals (for communications on the pause); the development of a HUB Base Station and Communication Server; the development of Cloud Based Voice, IoT and Data Services (including connecting to LoRa and other IoT networks); the development of a Cloud Based Management System; System Certification and Qualification including beta testing and pilot for demonstration.

hiSky’s strategy is to rely on its proprietary technology, high demand and low-price strengths to provide complementary services to GSM/LTE/Landline. The idea is to cooperate with network operators and to offer the operator a “roaming package” for their subscribers. This allows the operator to provide their subscriber with unlimited coverage for both MSS (Voice & Data) and IoT/M2M.


From a technical standpoint, developing the hardware to be low enough cost, whilst ensuring that the quality is high enough for commercial sale is seen as a key challenge.

Developing hiSky IP for mass production and real-world environments


Our product is addressing the sector of MSS (voice & data) and IoT/M2M/SCADA which has the following characteristics: The growing need for connectivity is there and we all see how every application from agriculture to electricity polls need to be connected. We believe that in offering the right solution that includes the right price for the terminal and an affordable price for the service hiSky changes the market. hiSky strategy as to the sales model is based on very low prices of airtime packages bringing it to the masses. The key elements of the proposition are affordability, in both the airtime and the hardware and the ease of use of the terminals; allowing users to utilise their own smartphone for activation in a similar way to the existing telephonic apps readily available and widely used. Finally, the management systems for the service are simple to use for enterprise users; designed to integrate with their current systems where required and standalone for those without infrastructure.


Terminals: Low cost, easy to operate terminals that operate in a static (manually pointed to the satellite by the end user) and a dynamic (automatically point and track – allowing it to move at high speed and maintain connectivity) manner.

Hub Base Station: Residing in the S-VNO ground infrastructure and allowing our terminals to operate with their satellite infrastructure.

Software: A suite of end user and enterprise software allowing the terminals to be utilised by end users for voice and data applications and allowing enterprise partners to manager their traffic, provide service to their customers and resell out proposition (including package creation, billing and operational support)

System Architecture

The system architecture is best described beginning from the terminal. The SmartelliteTM terminal (alongside the accompanying smartphone applications) allows data and voice traffic to be passed across an existing satellite network operators infrastructure, reaching the pre-installed hiSky hub. With a focus on minimising the amount of traffic required we can operate in a very lean manner. From the Hub, the traffic is then routed either to the public internet, or to a server, as required by the enterprise/customer. Throughout this transaction, all traffic is monitored by the proprietary NMS (network management system), allowing system diagnosis, volume management and performance management. Partners are provided with BSS/OSS systems in order to support the management of their assets and the billing of the system, both upstream and downstream.


Phase 1 (through mid 2021)– Project development. Here the project designs and develops the hardware and software, including all terminals types, the HUB base station, the supporting mobile applications, the NMS, the BSS and the OSS (operations centre, account manager, cloud infrastructure etc) along with lean voice protocol.

Phase 2 (through end 2022) – Productisation. Here the project focuses on Verification, Qualification, Certification, customer pilots and verification to ensure that hiSky is able to produce sufficient volume to satisfy demand at cost and at high quality.

Current status

Currently hiSky has completed the market sizing and definitions so that hiSky is clear where we should be positioning. Proof of Concept hardware in complete (Hub, Dynamic and Static Terminals), along with limited test versions of the end-user software. The Project held its official Kick-Off meeting in November 2019

Status date

Monday, February 17, 2020 - 11:31