Kymeta sticking with bundling strategy in wake of CEO transition

Kymeta's flat-panel antenna is mounted on vehicles to provide connectivity. (Kymeta)

Kymeta, provider of the flat-panel satellite terminal that can turn vehicles into mobile hotspots, appears to be sticking to its strategy of offering bundled solutions as its founder and CEO Nathan Kundtz steps down.

The company announced that Kundtz was leaving his role as CEO this month and taking an advisory role in the company going forward. Kymeta’s president and CFO, Marc Stolzman, will guide the day-to-day operations while the Kymeta board conducts a search for the next CEO.

Bill Marks, chief strategy officer and executive vice president at Kymeta, told FierceWirelessTech that he doesn't envision any major changes for Kymeta as a result. Kundtz started the company in the R&D phase and said in a statement that it’s time for him to move on and let the company find someone to guide it through the next stage of growth.

“I don’t think there’s any shift in strategy,” which has always been to develop a ground-breaking technology and support it with network solutions, Marks said. “The strategy has always been to provide a bundled solution to the end user.”

Kymeta boat
Boat-mounted antennas can tap into
satellites while at sea. (Kymeta)

Kymeta’s approach enables satellite and cellular networks to deliver a single network, so to speak. Its flat-panel antenna is being deployed on multiple platforms, including trains, buses and boats, and it’s being used by the military and first responders. Kymeta doesn’t sell direct to end users but relies on a global network of distributors.

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In September, the company conducted a series of field trials with U.S. federal agents to demonstrate the capabilities of hybrid data backhaul on cellular and satellite networks. The demo took place along the southern border of New Mexico and involved CopaSAT, Cradlepoint and TrellisWave Technologies.

The Kymeta terminal provided on-the-move connectivity to SES satellites, which was blended with terrestrial LTE networks using a Cradlepoint software defined wide-area-network (SD-WAN) router. Access to the network was extended to agents using TrellisWare mobile ad-hoc mesh net radios. Smart devices, laptops, unmanned aerial systems, cameras and other communications solutions stayed connected from a moving vehicle without disruption in service, according to Kymeta.

Last year, Kymeta provided its antenna technology to a few vehicles in Puerto Rico to help in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. With a flat antenna panel mounted on the vehicle, relief workers could get connectivity as they moved about the island. The antenna can be mounted on a car, or, in some cases, it’s embedded in the roof of the vehicle and not visible from the outside. 

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Basically, Kymeta’s solution is to look for the best available network at a given time and place, whether it be satellite or cellular, and tap into that. “It’s an intelligent system that basically looks at all networks available and picks the best one at any given moment,” Marks said.

“We’ve always taken the position that the network of the future should be a network of networks,” he added. “People don’t really care what network it’s on. They just want a solution, so if you can leverage the best of all the networks, you can provide the best solution to the end user. That’s always been our position. Satellite is clearly a big part of that, but it’s not the only part of that.”