Back to News
August 19, 2015

Kymeta Partners With Sharp To Build Satellite Internet Antennas With Tv Screen Tech

BY JAMES RISLEY on August 18, 2015 at 8:00 am Antenna prototype being tested in one of Kymeta’s anechoic chambers. Photo via Kymeta. […]
Antenna prototype, based on liquid crystal technology, being tested in one of Kymeta’s anechoic chambers
Antenna prototype being tested in one of Kymeta’s anechoic chambers. Photo via Kymeta.

The future of satellite internet may rely on tech already found in your TV screen. LCD manufacturers are providing solutions for tracking fast-moving satellites to provide internet coverage around the world.

Kymeta, a Redmond-based satellite antenna company backed by Bill Gates, announced today a partnership with display manufacturer Sharp to produce antennas using Kymeta’s metamaterial-based technology called mTenna.

Nathan Kundtz Headshot Kymeta
Kymeta CEO Nathan Kundtz

Kymeta’s satellite receivers have always been based on liquid crystal technology. For the past three years, the company has worked with Sharp, a massive liquid-crystal display (LCD) manufacturer, to understand the liquid crystal manufacturing processes.

Today’s partnership builds on that relationship, using Sharp’s existing flat-panel display production lines to manufacture antennas that electronically track passing satellites.

“From day one, we knew we wanted to leverage the liquid-crystal display industry. And if I’m candid, we just didn’t know how,” Kymeta CEO Nathan Kundtz said.

Kymeta, which spun out of Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures, was formed to take advantage of the vast, unused satellite spectrum to provide internet around the world. Just 3 percent of the current wireless spectrum sold for $36 billion last year.

“There’s very few services that can pony up that kind of cash,” Kundtz said. “Satellite literally has 1,000 times more spectrum available to it and it’s available on a global basis, naturally, because it’s in space.”

The challenge for Kymeta was tracking those satellites, which move quickly across the sky. Existing solutions relied on bulky, physically moving dishes that can take a long time to transfer to a new satellite when the current one gets out of range.

But Kymeta’s solution uses metamaterials to electronically shift its antennas toward satellites without any movement the user would notice, making for much quicker transfers and reducing the weight and bulk of the final product.

Read more at GeekWire

About Kymeta

The world’s demand for ubiquitous mobile connectivity is irrefutable. A global, mobile network is the answer to connecting people and places that have never been connected before.

Kymeta is making seamless, always-connected mobile communications possible with a unique hybrid approach that enables satellite and cellular networks to deliver a single, global, mobile network. End-to-end mobile communications are delivered with Kymeta K?LO™ connectivity services, and the world’s first and only electronically-steered, flat-panel satellite terminal that goes places traditional satellite dishes cannot. Backed by U.S. and international patents and licenses, the Kymeta KyWay™ terminal makes high-throughput, mobile communications possible in cars, trains, buses, trucks, boats, and much more.

If it moves, Kymeta keeps it connected.

For more information, visit kymetacorp.com and KALO.net.

Business Inquiries for Kymeta
Sam Christensen Marketing Kymeta
+1 425.658.8703
Media Inquiries for Kymeta
Melanie McBride Vice President, Content and PR The Summit Group
+1 801.990.8464