In high-stakes industries like emergency response and search and rescue, situations can change instantly. One moment, you’re stationary and surveying the scene; the next, you’re driving or flying into the action.
In ever-changing circumstances, you need a fast, reliable connection that keeps up with you, even while in motion. This technology exists—and it’s called Communications (Comms) On The Move (COTM). Comms On The Move provides consistent connectivity anytime, anywhere, and in any situation.
But what is Comms On The Move, exactly? And how does it work? In this brief guide, we’re exploring the technology and use cases behind this connectivity solution.
What is Comms On The Move?
Comms On The Move (or COTM for short) is a communication solution that enables true mobile connectivity. Sometimes called Satcom On The Move (SOTM), this technology makes in-field communication quick and reliable—even when vehicles are moving.
COTM allows for mission-critical communications between multiple vehicles and a command center but also has non-emergency use cases. Today, COTM technology can send and receive text, audio, high-quality video, location data and more.
COTM solutions also make it possible to set up temporary command centers in the field. This usage is known as Comms On The Pause (COTP).
How Does COTM Technology Work?
In a nutshell, Comms On The Move works no differently than any other form of satellite communication. An antenna on Earth conveys data to a satellite in orbit, which relays the data where it needs to go.
However, satellite communication wasn’t practical for on-the-move scenarios—until now. COTM takes the technology of a satellite antenna and makes it mobile by solving two problems:
- Size – Satellite antennas are dependable, but they’re also massive. COTM technology is condensed enough to fit into a standard commercial vehicle or even be carried by a person on foot.
- Movement – Regardless of size, satellite antennas need to point toward satellites to maintain a connection, which means they must remain stationary. COTM equipment uses specialized satellite router technology to steer the signal beam and maintain contact with satellites while moving.
Some COTM solutions also combine satellite connectivity with various cellular networks on land to create an ultra-reliable web of mobile communications.
What Industries Use COTM?
Because COTM technology works on ground vehicles, marine vessels and aircraft, many industries can benefit from this 24/7 on-the-go connectivity. Some of the industries that already use COTM and COTP include:
- Emergency services – First responders can use COTM to communicate with each other and command centers when answering calls in remote areas. They can also stay connected when natural disasters wipe out terrestrial communications.
- Oil and gas – COTM provides seamless communications for oil and gas workers traveling to and from far-off job sites like offshore oil rigs.
- Mining – Mining operations tend to exist in rugged environments far from population centers. COTM lets personnel maintain a connection on the go, circumventing typical obstacles like trees and mountainous terrain.
- Fishing – COTM also works at sea, so fleets can use the technology to communicate while on open water.
- News and media – Field reporters and camera crews can use COTM to broadcast audio, video and data from remote locations. And because COTM technology is always primed, media outlets can begin coverage immediately; there’s no need to set up terrestrial antennas.
- Military – he military has used COTM technology for many years. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force personnel in combat zones can leverage COTM for beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications, even in regions where telecom infrastructure is shut down or destroyed.
Aside from government and commercial uses, COTM also has practical applications for private citizens. For example, as the popularity of “van life” and remote work grows, travelers without fixed addresses may turn to Comms On The Move to stay connected.
4 COTM Benefits
Reliable connectivity on the move comes with advantages for all users. Some of the most significant benefits include:
Naturally, COTM is the ultimate choice in flexible communications technology. COTM users can adapt to dynamic situations all while remaining connected to headquarters, other field workers and customers. The value of transmitting and receiving data from anywhere can’t be overstated.
When safety issues arise, 24/7 communications become vital. Reliable mobile connections allow field personnel to request help or respond to calls from other workers.
Furthermore, combining COTM with other safety technology allows for remote monitoring. For example, if an onboard sensor suggests a long-haul trucker is driving recklessly or not wearing a seatbelt, the command center can receive a notification and take action.
COTM can also increase productivity in the field. Because there’s no need for manual beam steering or any other setup, teams on the move can begin work immediately.
Additionally, there’s no need to spend hours finding a location with service to send or receive data. COTM allows field workers to communicate from wherever they are.
Although COTM relies on multi-million dollar networks of satellites and cell towers, the cost for the end user is actually much lower than most other options.
In the past, organizations that needed connectivity in remote regions may have needed to build communications infrastructure. Now, field teams can rely on existing systems to stay connected. After the initial equipment investment, the only recurring expense is the service and data rates.
Stay Connected on the Go with SuperGIG
COTM and COTP are endlessly useful technologies for professionals who need to communicate while mobile. However, not all COTM services are created equal.
When networks become congested or suffer an outage, some COTM systems “failover” to a backup connection, then “failback” once the original connection recovers. This automatic switchover can lead to lapses in coverage.
SuperGIG™ from IP Access International is different. SuperGIG™ monitors and aggregates all connections in real-time to provide you with the fastest, most reliable COTM setup. So when staying connected matters most, you can rest easy knowing that SuperGIG™ has your back.
Contact us today to learn more about our approach to COTM or any of our other connectivity solutions.