Video Of The Week: Mesh Networking For Wireless Connectivity

Daniela Perdomo, founder and CEO of our portfolio company goTenna recently gave a talk at the New York Times about how mesh networking can improve wireless connectivity in urban environments.

It’s a short talk (~7 mins) and explains how mesh networking technologies can (and will) solve urban wireless connectivity issues in the coming years.

Also, goTenna launched a map of its mesh network yesterday. Here is what it looks like as of today:

#mesh networks

Comments (Archived):

  1. Nathanial Byrnes

    This is a great idea. Definately need to build your own smartphone. This could disrupt telecom in a big way. We are a wireless ISP. I can see a huge opportunity in the future as a partner providing the uplink points to this mesh. Happy to discuss further.Nate [email protected]

  2. Michael B. Aronson

    Proud to have been her seed investor and thrilled usv is now on board

    1. PhilipSugar

      It is great to see you on the board, you can certainly pick seed companies. Love to come to West Philly if you are there anytime in the summer.

  3. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Daniela Perdido nervousness only highlighted her authenticity.The following question maybe answered by Daniela Perdido.If one person purchases the goTenna gadget how effective can just one be and the privacy concerns, can you admit if there are any?

    1. Vendita Auto

      Lovely comment “nervousness only highlighted her authenticity” : )

    2. awaldstein

      nervousness is not connected to authenticity in any way I can imagine so?

      1. creative group

        awaldstein:We defer regarding the study of people on an academic level to you. But we will continue to use our life experiences in successfully reading people on this one.

  4. Raz Gerber

    Well done @danielaperdomoNext step – incentivize the users to participate with a crypto token

  5. Vendita Auto

    Liking the concept & work thus far take no note of nitpickers I hope you scale. Good on you Daniela Perdomo

  6. pointsnfigures

    Just put fiber internet in a very north woods cabin (rural MN). We put a mesh router in (Eero). Anything that can disrupt the big telco companies I like. Make em compete. Our electric provider is a co-op, as is internet provider.

    1. Michael Elling

      Which ISP in MN?

      1. pointsnfigures

        True North. Out of Arrowhood Electric

        1. Michael Elling

          Nice area. Drove down from Thunder Bay through that area. Good to see taxpayer $ going to support rural markets. “In 2010 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Arrowhead Cooperative over $16 million in grants and low interest loans to build a Fiber-to-the-Home broadband network throughout Cook County.”

          1. pointsnfigures

            Cook Cty is the poorest cty in MN by far. 85% of the land there is owned by the govt. It’s beautiful country, but very rugged. The biggest problem for getting internet out to places are rocks in the soil when you dig.Even with the grant, plenty of kids don’t have access. They sit in the parking lot of the high school or Y, or a coffee shop to do their homework.

          2. Michael Elling

            Which is why the subsidy models are flawed: RUS, BTOP, USF, etc… We are blinded by supply side thinking and an inefficient understanding of (inter)network effects. We got our universal service settlement models wrong 80-100 years ago and we haven’t figured out a good replacement model. The “settlement free” internet model is not it; despite what goTenna and USV might think.The resulting FTTH in the rural market you describe is 100% inefficient.A demand side approach would see you as an anchor institution and build from there; both from a fixed and mobile perspective. Your demand would drive costs down rapidly for others. It would also do away with this farcical net neutrality debate and allow 2-sided or balanced settlements which would pave the way for market-driven “core” procurement or subsidization of “the edge”; an “800 calling” model on steroids. We wouldn’t need to rely on government equilibrating the geometric value captured at the core with the costs borne and grown linearly, albeit unevenly at the edge.The drive over the lakes from NYC to MN was one of the best I ever did. Such history; such beauty.

        2. John Herron

          I’m looking at this scenario for my summer place on the Gunflint Trail where service is also through True North. I’d like to hear of your experience.

          1. pointsnfigures

            So far pretty darn good.

    2. PhilipSugar

      I would love to talk email me my name at the gmail service. We need to do this for my town.

  7. awaldstein

    i’m a fan of this company and first time seeing the founder speak live.This is a hugely empowering and disruptive technology that shifts how power is distributed in just the way that drags me in.I should post on them as my network would certainly be interested. I am!Nicely done.

  8. Frank W. Miller

    I’ve worked on this stuff quite a bit. There is no technical detail in the presentation or on their website that I can discern. What part of the spectrum does it use? What protocols are they using at the various layers, specifically network joins, drops, and ad-hoc routing. The intent appears to be to keep it proprietary. That may work temporarily for military customers but a larger market will be had by establishing a standard (perhaps with licensing) for the protocol suite to commercial customers to build a larger number of nodes. The viability of these things is totally dependent on the number of nodes. Anything that increases that will increase the chances of a business success as well.

    1. Michael Elling

      maybe the sdk daniela mentions below helps to open the ecosystem. but it’s still hardware limited.151-154mhz. 2 watt radio!…long-range stuff. the map pins variously indicate 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 50 miles. not sure how they get the latter. would be interesting to see what the actual range me it seems like chicken and egg, plus a niche market: for those who can’t get to or don’t want to be on the grid.i think a lot of motorola engineers are turning over in their virtual graves right now.

      1. Frank W. Miller

        2W in urban areas at 150 MHz? Good luck getting much through that. Definitely a niche play, probably for a specialized customer. Whomever they are they will shortly discover why companies like Rockwell, Harris, Thales, etc. are still in business despite 802.whatever and the cell networks.

        1. Michael Elling

          ICO next: megacoins.

          1. Frank W. Miller

            They also better get ready for the Feds to knock on their door. As with many of the recent USV investments, its got anonymity written all over it. That means it will be used by bad guys. They’ll be forced to put in backdoors either for CALEA (remember how you wanted the Internet under the Telecom regulations?) or just because some three letter agency forces them to.

          2. Michael Elling

            Under the privacy section of the faqs it says the app only works with a registered cell#.

  9. Stephen White

    I really like the concept put forward here. It reminded me of an article I read a week ago around the mesh network within the Tour De France peloton. Essentially the chips under the riders seats are all interconnected and this allows for minimal down time of the network (through Tunnels, thick trees, etc). Through this have managed to maintain >99% uptime on the link between each rider and the internet. This has led to amazing applications of data analytics being implemented in rider/team strategy.For mor see this article (fairly long read, but worth it):

  10. Yaya Prez

    Bridgefy’s solution is better, they don’t need hardware 😉

  11. JLM

    .I thought you looked perfectly composed and in command of the audience until I read “creative group”‘s comment. Then, I thought you looked even more composed and in command.I wonder if CG’s comment isn’t a bit of gender bias?A million years ago, Capitol Metro (the state agency transportation system in Austin, Texas) considered putting WiFi repeaters on their buses as part of a proposed city wide WiFi program.Somebody came to us who was working on graphene — the miracle which will replace silicon in the next decade — antennae. They never got it off the ground.I have always wondered why the radio feature of cell phones never caught on more.Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  12. PhilipSugar

    I have done hundreds of presentations and no matter how many I’ve done, when you have time and technical issues which are beyond your control, it is so hard to put them out of your mind.I still struggle to do it, and most times don’t succeed.You know we had a great board member Shoshanna Loeb that was working on Mesh Networks for Telecordia (former Bell Labs) in the 1990’s.To me this feels like when I was working on Wifi in the 1980’s.Reach out if you want an introduction to her.She was the best and smartest board member I ever have had (For her PhD Thesis she extended Einstein’s fifth theorem) and was so early on this…Her brother is equally as smart:…She is so down to earth it is amazing for her intelligence.I am at the gmail service.

  13. creative group

    daniper:replying to our question though Vendita Auto reply to our post that didn’t even ask you a question but commented on our question to you.Makes perfect sense. Question addressed even if via proxy.Must be the time zone.

  14. Michael Elling

    What is meant by backhaul in this instance?

  15. Michael Elling

    NCR deserves early credit for introducing the first WiFi like system in 1991. 802.11 protocol was released in 1997.

  16. PhilipSugar

    I can tell you we were working on a pre-curser that was networking robots in the late 1980s.

  17. Michael Elling

    Just say precursor to WiFi. I wrote a program in 1983 that did what Factset did 4 years later. But I didn’t work on building Factset, even though I was their #3 user.

  18. Michael Elling

    Ahhh, many thanks for the clarification. Was probably deeply embedded in FAQs, and I just missed it.Glad to see the rebirth of “paging”! I can tell you many war stories about those frequencies and how the US paging industry missed the opportunity to own the messaging world in the mid to late 1990s. I wrote the book on 10 cent digital wireless voice pricing in 1996 and foresaw the end of cheap-beep numeric paging. Unfortunately they couldn’t see out of their silos.BTW, I believe we met at a FEMA symposium somewhere off of Park Ave recapping their efforts after Sandy and you were telling me about what became goTenna. I was (still am) working on low-cost, extremely densified hetnet topologies for community cores in rural markets and urban/suburban markets.Very interested in your meshing and will drop you a line. I’m interested in your sdk plans.

  19. Frank W. Miller

    All radios do well when they are high and with a clear line of site. What you’re talking about isn’t that. Its urban jungle with all kinds of steel structures around. You’re not going to get even an order of magnitude within those number in real world situations. Plus you’re starting in the amateur radio part of the spectrum. There’s no bandwith == no bit rate by Shannon.You mentioned earlier the 900 MHz portion of the spectrum and that’s better from both a bandwidth available and the EM passes through a lot of materials in those frequencies. Much better choice.The big bugaboo is, the big guys are killing themselves trying to get their equipment into this part of the spectrum since analog tv gave it up. The competition here will be beyond fierce and I suspect they have a head start with better technology and relationships with the carriers that will deploy it. If I saw some patented superior radio technology or something I’d be looking twice. The trouble is most of the radio companies have waveforms that approach Shannon in many part of the spectrum already. Its going to be very tuff to compete with them.

  20. Frank W. Miller

    You’ve answered my question. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to come up with Link-16 for first responders. And by that I refer to the SA messaging set, J series and VMF, which are the nuggets of gold in that stack.This is a good idea, but the radio approach to support it is flawed imho. What you want are some decently powerful radios mounted in vehicles that use something like an LTE tin can that can sub for Link-16’s tin can and then aggregate according to Link-16s rules. Its simple and works great. If you did it in the unobstructed portion of the spectrum (i.e. the 900 MHz band you talked about would be decent), you’ve got a pretty decent SA system for first reponders that isn’t dependent on any infrastructure. They’d luv that. (Hint: the companies I mentioned are already trying to do this)