Wind Talker Innovations is a five-year-old startup whose software creates a mesh network out of wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets. The mesh network can extend existing mobile networks.
Wind Talker executives say they don’t want to compete with wireless carriers, but rather they want to extend existing networks and make them more efficient.
In fact, WindTalker has already collaborated with Verizon. It was involved in some joint tests at the Miramar Naval Base in San Diego this summer.
And this month, it assisted Verizon with aid to the Department of Defense Afghan Refugee camp in Quantico, Virginia. “Within two days of deploying our Osmosis-enabled equipment with the Verizon team, we helped to build a mesh network that provides broadband Wi-Fi connectivity for Afghan asylum seekers,” said the company in a statement.
Matt Perdew, CEO and Co-founder of Wind Talker, told Fierce, “The focus point for us is to partner with telcos and ISPs because they do have this infrastructure in place,” such as macro towers, small cells and fiber backhaul.
Wind Talker’s software — called Osmosis — transforms mobile devices into a cooperative network of global access points. The mesh network allows carriers to get into hard-to-reach places.
For instance, one area of the country where the company is initially focusing is tribal villages in Alaska.
Perdew, who lives in Alaska, said there are 147 tribal villages in the state, and many of them, if they have internet service at all, get download speeds of 10 Mbps for which they might have to pay as much as $300 a month.
He said these villages have “touch points at schools and clinics.” The company is talking to the state’s governor and tribes about deploying its solution in the villages to extend those touch points.
Ryan Luther, CTO and Co-founder of Wind Talker, said, “We absolutely want to integrate with existing infrastructure by creating edge layers. Osmosis gives you options at every layer to create an additional edge layer.”
In order for Wind Talker’s technology to gain a foothold, devices need to run its software. “We wanted to focus our capability on devices that are currently in the marketplace, so we’re not driving people to get new devices,” said Perdew.
The company is also talking to a variety of companies that make radio-enabled devices for the network such as Panasonic, Nokia and Ericsson, to deploy Osmosis on their devices as a future capability.
According to Wind Talker, its technology creates a software-based network that uses multiple frequency bands to push more data through more paths. And it can push data across spectrums different than the one for which the message protocol was originally designed.
In March Wind Talker announced an investment from Capital Ventures International, which is part of the Susquehanna International Group of Companies, bringing its valuation to $324 million.
Perdew said the company has “just shy” of 100 employees, with offices in Tacoma, Washington; Lakeland, Florida; and Anchorage.
In addition to its hopes to work with tribal villages in Alaska, Wind Talker is also working with tribes in the lower-48 states. Perdew said the company has helped tribes apply for 2.5 GHz spectrum.
The FCC is putting unused EBS spectrum in the 2.5 GHZ band up for auction. But prior to the main auction, it gave Tribal Nations a priority window to obtain unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum for use in their communities.