Kymeta sets out to put KĀLO through the paces in cross-country jaunt

Kymeta antenna on car (Kymeta)
A Kymeta antenna on top of a vehicle provides connectivity for a range of industries and geographies. (Kymeta)

Kymeta is trekking across the U.S. over the next two weeks to test its mobile satellite internet service and make sure it works in some of the most remote parts of the country.

The KĀLO Trek Across America started in Washington, D.C., and winds through the Southeast, Texas and into California, ending at the Kymeta campus in Redmond, Washington, on Nov. 27. The company is using a Toyota RAV4 to travel more than 7,000 miles across the country to provide a rigorous, real-world proving ground for Kymeta’s KĀLO-branded internet service. The service is powered by the IntelsatOne Flex satellite network with a Kymeta antenna installed on the car.

Kymeta, which was named a FierceWireless 15 company last year, said its antenna is like a pizza box that delivers connectivity. Users just need to take it outside, turn it on and they’re connected. The company has been demonstrating it at events like the Aug. 21 eclipse. It even sent its technology to Puerto Rico to help with communications after Hurricane Maria.

The company says it’s unique in that the KĀLO service will be available for people on the move, from everyday vehicles to the most difficult to reach industries and areas of the world. Expectations call for it to be used in the military and for news reporting, first responders, construction, trains, buses and more. In Puerto Rico, three vehicles equipped with the technology are being moved around to where connectivity is needed, just like a transportable Wi-Fi hotspot.

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Dushyant Sukhija, SVP and general manager, KĀLO Business Unit at Kymeta, said that when launched, KĀLO mobile internet services will mark a “revolutionary” change in the way satellite services are purchased and supplied, making it as simple as purchasing a cell phone plan. “The launch of Kymeta KĀLO services will usher in changes in the way businesses get work done: on the move, from everyday vehicles, in even the most difficult to reach industries and areas of the world,” Sukhija said in a press release.

“As innovations in satellite connectivity come to market, such as our Intelsat Epic high-throughput satellites, we are unlocking new applications. Industries recognize that connected cars and other vehicles will enable new services and opportunities for increased efficiency; traditional networks can’t support that growth today,” said Mark Rasmussen, VP and general manager, Mobility, at Intelsat, in the release. “Leveraging our global IntelsatOne Flex network, our partnership with Kymeta will bring KĀLO internet services to every corner of the U.S., and eventually every region of the world.”

The satellite industry has been increasingly at odds with the terrestrial mobile industry when it comes to spectrum, and given the 11 proposals sitting before the commission for new satellite projects, it’s no longer the industry of abandoned plans and bankruptcies. The U.S. satellite industry tallied $110.3 billion in revenue in 2016, for a growth rate of 2%.