Swarm Technologies won FCC approval to offer global internet-of-things communications services with a constellation of 150 miniature SpaceBee satellites. Credit: Swarm Technologies

SAN FRANCISCO – Swarm Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup seeking to connect sensors in a low-cost, global internet-of-things (IoT) network, announced prices for its satellite communications products Sept. 29, including data services starting at $5 per device per month..

Swarm launched its first 12 operational Spacebee satellites in early September aboard an Arianespace Vega rocket. The Mountain View, California, company plans to complete its constellation of 150 hockey-puck-size satellites before the end of 2021, Sara Spangelo, Swarm co-founder and CEO, said in a Sept. 21 blog post.

Swarm Tile, the company’s satellite modem, carries a $119 price tag. Customers are encouraged to embed Swarm Tile, which is built around a single printed circuit board, into devices.

“Now, every person and IoT machine can have affordable access to two-way data services from any point on Earth at all times,” Spangelo said in a Sept. 29 statement. “Swarm’s global network enables customers to build their businesses and scale them globally overnight by harnessing the power of small satellite connectivity.”

More than 200 companies have signed up for early access to Swarm’s network, including Autonomic, a Ford Smart Mobility subsidiary that creates software for connected cars. Swarm plans to begin providing communications services later this year, Swarm said in a Sept. 29 news release.

Swarm has obtained regulatory approval to operate in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Antarctica and over international waters.

The company is establishing a global ground station network with sites in nations including the United States, United Kingdom, Antarctica and New Zealand.

Companies are racing to offer low-cost IoT service. Skylo, a Palo Alto, California, startup plans to attract customers by offering data plans starting at $1 per month.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...