Bill Gates-backed Kymeta wows Monaco’s yacht crowd with its flat-panel antennas
Kymeta Corp., the flat-panel antenna company that’s backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has demonstrated the capabilities of its satellite broadband data transmission technology in front of a tough crowd: the rich and famous at the Monaco Yacht Show.
“This is really about us showing our first product in action,” said Nathan Kundtz, president and CEO of the venture headquartered in Redmond, Wash.
Kymeta makes stop-sign-sized antennas that take advantage of metamaterials to receive satellite signals without having to turn and focus on the spacecraft flying overhead.
During the week surrounding the show in Monaco show, which ran from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, Kymeta set up two of its antennas on the roof of the stylish Restaurant Virage to provide Wi-Fi access for the Superyacht Owner’s VIP Lounge.
Kymeta’s system took advantage of Panasonic’s satellite network to serve up data at the rate of 65 megabits per second for downlinks, and 6 Mbps for uplinks. That compares favorably with the typical in-home rate of 20 Mbps down and 2 to 3 Mbps up.
Kundtz said the system served as many as 80 simultaneous users, some of whom were watching Ultra HD Netflix or doing live video on Skype. The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate how well Kymeta’s mTenna technology could deliver broadband to mega-yachts, cruise ships and commercial vessels.
“Several of the world’s most iconic yachts have now signed up for the Kymeta mTenna technology as a direct result of the successful demonstration in Monaco, with many other commitments from superyacht owners and designers expected to take place over the next few months,” Håkan Olsson, Kymeta’s vice president of maritime, said today in a news release.
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