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Conversation: Mustafa Murad


Mustafa Murad, the CEO of APPLIOT and former Senior Vice President at Taqnia Space, has more than two decades of expertise in the SATCOM industry. He champions the belief that connectivity and access to information and services will soon be regarded as fundamental human rights.

Throughout his career, Murad has impacted the SATCOM landscape, leaving an indelible mark on various vertical markets that include Banking, Oil & Gas, Military & Government, Telco’s & GSM, and Satellite operators.

Recognizing the burgeoning potential in the Aero, Mobility, and IoT sectors over VSAT, Murad has spearheaded initiatives to establish and develop regional service providers. His strategic foresight aims to propel these entities into global players, positioning them at the forefront of the industry’s next phase of regional growth

Good day, Mr. Murad... would you please tell us more about the background of APPLIOT. Where did the idea behind the company develop?

Mustafa Murad

Mustafa Murad
During the last few years, we have been closely watching the impact of the disruptive LEO services on the satellite broadband market and how it drove most of the R&D industry efforts towards maximizing the broadband throughputs, leaving the narrowband satellite technology development between the hands of legacy satellite L-band providers.

The birth of the Appliot idea is our vision of how to fill the narrowband satellite service gap by using GEO satellites, defeated in the broadband LEO/ MEO conquest, and cope with the direct satellite IoT market’s tremendous growth. Also, getting advantage of the latest satellite antenna developments (electronically steered antennas) led by LEO/MEO satellite providers to build a cost-effective integrated satellite IoT terminal using Ku/Ka satellite bands.

Furthermore, we found that the market was calling for enhanced IoT connectivity that is affordable for an extensive range of applications across remote industries. IoT technology has become invaluable for businesses all around the world, across every sector. However, implementing these types of solutions in more remote regions of the world can be very challenging. Satellite-based IoT technology provides the ideal solution for the provision of IoT to remote areas as the satellite’s reach is limitless. We feel that the market conditions are right, and the timing is right for the introduction of APPLIOT.

Please tell us more about the solution.

Mustafa Murad
The solution is based on a proprietary, flexible, software-defined platform that features an electronically steered phased array antenna with a built-in modem 
to produce a lightweight, CFC-compliant, Ku-/Ka-band terminal that is easy to mount, install, and operate — anywhere on Earth.

The terminal automatically locates the satellite, creating a satellite hotspot in a matter of milliseconds, and communicates with any device via Wi-Fi or a cable connection. APPLIOT meets the requirements of any application from the most simple, low-data applications to the most demanding applications.

The solution features an on-the-move tracking algorithm, and this enables a fast, smooth transition between satellites in the geosphere ensuring that constant data connectivity is maintained.

The solution leverages wide-beam or high throughput (HTS) satellites located on a geostationary (GEO) orbit above the equator. It’s very cost-effective and can provide data for mere pennies.

Due to the fact that it uses a wide beam or HTS, it can achieve global coverage with fewer satellites. The solution is also LEO enabled, which is critical as we see the emergence of new mega-constellations.

Satellite IoT is a hot market with many new entrants coming into the sector. What sets APPLIOT apart from the rest and why?

Mustafa Murad
We have deep market knowledge THAT has enabled us to develop this customizable end-to-end satellite IoT solution from scratch. We’ve listened to the market and, with APPLIOT, we are addressing their pain points and challenges to ensure they have easy and cost-effective access to actionable data that makes sense to them, and that will help them to improve their business.

Answering the question, why APPLIOT? APPLIOT is easy to deploy (ESA technology), offers a turnkey, end-to-end solution including integrated satellite IoT terminal, brings customers’ portals iinto play with full reporting on the satellite IoT mobile or fixed use cases, efficiently supports legacy GEO wide- beam coverages, is cost-effective as it uses regular Ku- and Ka-band GEO satellite capacities, and has the flexibility to integrate with various types of IoT traffic, such as LoRaWAN aggregators.

Finally, and most importantly, is the fact that we are differentiated on cost. We offer Appliot infrastructure ‘as-a-service’ model which helps to keep the providers’ initial costs down.

What interest have you received from customers?

Mustafa Murad
Our first customer is Gulfsat, based in Kuwait. We have just recently deployed our services to them and this is the first IoT network in the country. We integrated the service into their existing hub infrastructure, which has meant deployment was fast and cost-effective.

During SATELLITE 2024, we also signed an agreement with Saudi Arabian satellite service provider, Saudi Net Link, to partner for the delivery of IoT services across the Kingdom.

To fill in some background, Saudi Net Link has been established for almost 30 years and has become one of the leading telecommunications companies in the Kingdom. In recent years, that company expanded their operations to include a wide portfolio of services including VSAT, cyber security, mobility, and broadband. The addition of IoT services will enable the company to further augment its addressable market to offer remote solutions for a variety of industries.

Appliot will enable both Gulfsat and Saudi Net Link to enter the rapidly expanding IoT market with an affordable, cutting-edge solution that takes advantage of AI and is tailored to meet both companies’ very specific market requirements for established and emerging use cases.

How do you support your customers?

Mustafa Murad
Customer experience is at the core of what we do. Our main goal is to make the integration of a business’ current devices with our solution as simple as possible and to ensure that valuable, actionable data is provided to our customers.

We’ve developed a private portal where users can access data analytics so that they can use data to make effective business decisions. This data platform is conveniently accessible via a secure connection on multiple devices such as computers, cell phones, and tablets. The satellite connectivity provides the connection between the terminal and the IoT server.

Our solution is also completely bespoke, tailored to the unique requirements of the customer.

We design our solutions based on current business infrastructure, locations, networks, sensors, software, and available connectivity. For ease of use and set-up, the terminals are plug-and-play and only require a power

source. The entire end-to-end set-up can be achieved in just a matter of days, leaving customers free to start reaping the benefits of their solution rapidly.

The provision of satellite IoT guarantees reliable connectivity for users, even in the most remote parts of the world. We also ensure first-class support for all customers by providing in-depth training, a ticketing system, and 24/7 remote monitoring and troubleshooting which minimizes any need for human intervention on-site.

Which various markets is APPLIOT currently focused and do you expect this to evolve oer time?

Mustafa Murad
We are focusing on several key markets: fleet management, maritime, agriculture, energy, ATM/POS, and mining. These market segments are key users of IoT technology. For example, we see fishing as an important market for our technology.

Fisheries face a constant threat to profitability and sustainability due to overfishing, bycatch, and inefficient resource management. A lack of connectivity, visibility, and critical data prevents fisheries from reaching their full potential. They use connectivity for a wide range of reasons, including vessel tracking and monitoring; underwater sensors; environmental assessments; aquaculture energy efficiency; remote surveillance and security, and harvest optimization.

With our technology, users can access instant connectivity and the power of AI out at sea, giving them valuable insights in real-time to optimize output and achieve greater efficiency and sustainability. It transforms operations into a smart fishery.

Certainly, as we go forward, we expect the list of use cases to grow exponentially. There are use cases for IoT emerging all the time — some of which we don’t even know exist at this moment in time.

As a newly launched company, what can we expect from APPLIOT in the coming 12-18 months?

Mustafa Murad
You can expect to see much more of us. We are currently developing strategic alliances with satellite operators, MNOs, distributors, and other prominent players in the market in business programs that offer customers uninterrupted connectivity worldwide, for a fraction of the price of other satellite solutions currently on the market.

In the coming 12 months, we will continue to research, develop, and carry out global testing of our solution, in preparation for mass production of APPLIOT, beginning Q2/Q3 2024. In parallel, our strategic and business
development team will continue to explore and understand the market needs, working in close collaboration with our R&D team so that our technology meets the changing needs of the market.