SIA-India Urges Health Minister to Use SatCom for COVID-19 Supply Chain Tracking

On Monday, SatCom industry body SIA-India wrote to the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. The body urged the minister to leverage the industry’s capabilities for real-time communication for the essential supply chain for COVID-19 as the country struggles under a fresh wave of the pandemic.

SatCom for Tracking Essentials

In the letter, it said that SatCom allowed for tracking convoys and their routes. Further, it also allowed scheduling alerts in case of any mishaps, thus giving the drivers time to react on time. Also, the industry body urged the government to implement the use of asset tracking via SatCom as soon as possible.

Anil Prakash, DG, SIA-India highlighted the benefits of satellite asset tracking system. He said that the system is “is unique, first for its ubiquitous coverage, second it digitizes entire supply chain with zero blind spots”.

Furthermore, he added, “two-way communication help keep the command and control glitch-free”.

Prakash also elaborated on the services offered by Ananth Technologies (NavIC), Inmarsat-Skylo, and Saankhya Labs. The letter highlighted these solutions as follows:

  1. First, Ananth Technologies’ EFMS system is a NavIC based solution for asset tracking. It sends the information directly to the central hub via SatCom. SatCom allows for secure information tracking. Furthermore, this system uses IRNSS for better positional accuracy.
  2. Second, Saankhya Labs uses ISRO’s GSAT – 6 satellite in S-Band frequency for communication. This allows for better connectivity from remote locations where no cellular connectivity exists. It also allows augmenting cellular-based solutions on a pan-India basis and sending SoS.
  3. Third, Skylo with Inmarsat provides a satellite-based NB IoT network. This network allows location, sensor data, and two-way communications between fleets carrying health cargo (including oxygen and vaccines). The solution also allows for a centralised command centre.

The letter added that these SatCom solutions allow for real-time visibility across all of India. This in turn gives “absolute control on resource allocation basis need and demand removing all logistical hassles”, the letter said.

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