Kymeta Corporation is on a roll. The Redmond, Washington-based company just finished a project with the Greenville, South Carolina, police department featuring its satellite-connected car during the eclipse, and now it’s announcing that it has received blanket authorization from the FCC for commercial distribution of 11,000 of its KyWay terminals in the United States.
The FCC’s blanket license will allow Kymeta to operate 5,000 vehicle-mounted Earth stations (VMEs), 5,000 fixed IoT installations and 1,000 maritime Earth stations on vessels (ESVs).
“This is the first time electronically-steered, beam-forming flat panel antenna terminals have been given blanket authorization by the FCC,” said Nathan Kundtz, CEO and president of Kymeta, in a release. “The satellite spectrum has 5,000 times the capacity of all terrestrial networks, and that means that connected cars, construction sites, vessels, rail, buses, and other traditionally difficult-to-connect industries are now going to have the opportunity for uninterrupted access wherever they are, and wherever they go.”
The company also received authorization from Ofcom to provide service to an unlimited number of vehicle-mounted, shipboard and IoT installations in the United Kingdom. The authorization from a European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) and Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) member country is an important milestone, the company said. Ofcom’s compliance with ECC decisions regarding ESVs mean that Kymeta installations under this authority are granted free circulation in the 48 CEPT member countries.
“Free circulation in European waters means one less hurdle to overcome in the regulatory approval process,” said Håkan Olsson, vice president of Maritime at Kymeta. “Ofcom and FCC approvals are major milestones as they enable seamless connectivity in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe—the most populated areas for satellite communication. We expect regulatory bodies for the rest of the world to follow suit shortly.”
Kymeta, which was named a FierceWireless 15 company last year, says its antenna is like a pizza box that delivers connectivity. Users just need to take it outside, turn it on and they’re connected.
“It’s the magic pizza box that delivers the internet, and these approvals are helping us to deliver on our promise of global, mobile communication,” Kundtz said.
The company’s mTenna uses software-driven, tunable metamaterial elements to holographically create a beam that can be electronically steered to follow a satellite, meaning it can stay connected even while moving. The enterprise and commercial applications are centered on providing steady Wi-Fi networks for planes, trains, tractors, cars and boats, which can all benefit from satellite connectivity.
The company’s already finding success in the maritime industry. Earlier this year, Kymeta received special temporary authority (STA) to test and demonstrate its antenna technology on a U.S.-flagged container ship traveling between Seattle and Oakland, California. The purpose of that test was to show that the Kymeta beam-steering technology and antenna mounted on a mobile platform could track and transmit to a fixed satellite.