Kymeta and Intelsat bring connectivity to cars

by Clayton Vallabhan | January 13th, 2016

carKymeta Corporation and Intelsat are making the next evolution of connected car a reality. The companies will combine Intelsat’s  space-based communication with Kymeta’s antenna technology to bring high speed connectivity to cars on a global basis. This will enable the creation of new services on every continent, support software over-the-air applications, advance the potential for autonomous driving and pave the way for the future of the connected car.

Last month Kymeta and Intelsat proved that a “dish” ground antenna was unnecessary for on-the-move satellite connectivity. The team recently completed an 8,000 mile demonstration across the United States using the Kymeta satellite-enabled test car. Over the course of the journey, the mTenna technology, embedded into the roof of the automobile, automatically acquired and tracked Intelsat Ku-band satellite signals while on the move.

The future of automotive connectivity is being revolutionised by high throughput satellite connectivity, combined with advancements in software-enabled, metamaterials-based electronic beamforming antenna technology. Together, the technologies allow for connected car solutions that address critical requirements including reliable and consistent service availability, economic multicast distribution, and global ubiquity of service levels with an unmatched security environment. In order to enable software over the air, unlock the new services for streamed content that consumers expect and support advancements in autonomous driving, the industry needs the efficient, consistent connectivity options and a global, scalable solution that only satellite can provide.

“Satellite connectivity can best address the capacity, coverage and security concerns of conventional solutions to car connectivity. Better yet, these assets are available now. We don’t have to wait 10 years for a next generation cellular network to be invented and deployed,” said Dr. Nathan Kundtz, Chief Executive Officer of Kymeta. “This will be crucial because five years from now, every car that comes off a production line should be connected. In fact, we should stop calling it the ‘connected car’, and just call it ‘the car’ because this is the future of automotive.”

“The automotive sector is a global business, where scalability and quality are essential to success,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. “We are enhancing the world’s largest satellite-broadband infrastructure with our next generation fleet, Intelsat EpicNG, allowing us to deliver highly efficient broadband services in the air, sea, and with Kymeta, to the automotive sector. With our global connectivity, automotive manufacturers and car owners alike will benefit from consistent, highly reliable and secure connectivity, literally anywhere in the world. Intelsat is confident that the future of connected car means satellite-enabled.”

Kymeta’s satellite antennas remove the need for mechanical components by using software to electronically track and steer towards satellites. This ensures that connectivity is maintained regardless of location, and gives manufacturers the ability to use a simple push-notification for software upgrades to guarantee futureproof technology. Working together, Kymeta and Intelsat will ensure that mobility customers are able to receive fast, reliable and cost-effective connectivity regardless of location.

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