Would-be cubesat-constellation operator Sky and Space Global have announced that they have successfully demonstrated that nano-satellites can carry narrowband voice and message telephony between recently launched test satellites. Launched in June on an Indian PSLV launch, the three 3-DIAMONDS spacecraft: 3 DIAMONDS BLUE, GREEN and RED, used intersatellite S-Band communications to carry the signals. The mission has “retired the risk” for a planned US$160 million 200 satellite constellation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to carry voice, message and M2M (Machine-to-Machine)/Internet-of-Things communications.
The constellation is viewed as a likely serious challenge to the traditional higher-cost incumbents offering this sort of service to the market: Iridium, Globalstar and ORBCOMM. That is not to say that Sky and Space Global will not soon have their own new competitors, Kepler Communications and Else who are offering similar low cost cubesat constellations.
Space News makes a more detailed analysis of this story: here