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Microwave Journal Executive Interview: Nathan Kundtz, Founder, CEO and President of Kymeta

Using metamaterials to make high throughput mobile communications easy and available

nathan kundtz

Tell us about your path and what led you to Kymeta.

While at Duke University, I cut my teeth working in the field of low temperature condensed matter research for semi- and super-conductors. When the funding dried up for the program, I moved into metamaterials research, working with David R. Smith. During this time, we made a series of award-winning breakthroughs focused on the applications for metamaterials.

Soon our work gained the interest of Intellectual Ventures, a company that had invested in patents related to metamaterials. They asked me to identify market opportunities for the technology. While at Intellectual Ventures, I worked with some terrific people to develop opportunities for the commercialization of metamaterials.

The most exciting of these was for a metamaterials-based flat panel satellite antenna. Intellectual Ventures supported the technical and market development of the technology by introducing possible partners and customers and provided seed funding to advance the technology. Together we developed a strong business model. In 2012, Kymeta was spun out of Intellectual Ventures.

What problem is Kymeta addressing?

Kymeta is addressing the major chokepoint in mobile satellite networks: the antenna.

Satellites provide the coverage and capacity necessary to connect everyone, everywhere, while keeping up with increasing demand for high bandwidth mobile connectivity. However, parabolic antennas have limited the places the satellite networks can be used, due to the size, weight, mechanical parts, high power consumption and complexity.

Kymeta addresses these limitations and makes it possible to connect any platform, mobile or fixed, anywhere there’s a view of the sky.

Give us the elevator speech that describes the mission of Kymeta.

Kymeta makes high throughput mobile communications easy and available.

We deliver internet connectivity to industries that have historically been inaccessible or difficult for the satellite industry to address. Industries like rail, bus and automotive haven’t been able to adopt satellite networks. Also, the maritime and aviation markets have struggled to implement satellite technology broadly across smaller vessels and aircraft.

Kymeta has taken a completely different approach that is backed by years of research and development and over 200 patents to make broadband mobile communications easy and available.

Read the entire interview at Microwave Journal