Kymeta CEO on the Future of the Mobile Communications Market
Kymeta plans to tackle both the issues of limited coverage and capacity in the mobile space with its long-awaited mTenna product line, which the company intends to release this coming May. Nathan Kundtz, chief executive officer of Kymeta, also told Via Satellite that the company plans to go one step further by partnering with Intelsat to introduce Kalo, a suite of network services supporting the satellite antenna.
Mobile communications has run into a roadblock, as the limitations of broadband networks have made it difficult for existing technology to satisfy our growing connectivity needs. If you’re in a boat or a plane, or even driving outside the range of those terrestrial broadband networks, you lose the connectivity so many of us rely on. And let’s not forget the ever-looming issue of congestion: spectrum is a shared but limited resource, and competition for it has sent the price tag skyrocketing.
Kundtz believes the introduction of the mTenna line is a transformative moment for the mobile communications industry for a number of reasons. The first is fairly straightforward: “This is not only the first time a Flat Panel Antenna (FPA) will be commercially available, but the world’s largest satellite operator has put together a network to support it,” he said. “It’s important to recognize that all of the conversations around FPAs have been around what is being developed and not what is here. This is the first time you’re hearing somebody say ‘it’s here’.”
There certainly have been numerous efforts and billions of dollars poured into research to make this kind of technology commercially viable, but as Kundtz notes, it’s a difficult endeavor. “We really had to go back to fundamental science and come up with a completely new approach,” he said. “Just about everybody pursues FPAs in the same way, which they say it’s going to be a phased array architecture and we need to make cheaper phase shifters. That just doesn’t work. It’s a broken strategy because it doesn’t address the reliability of those systems, and it doesn’t address the complexity that drives costs for the system outside of the phase shifting elements themselves.”
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