Do we really need this?
Sourced through Scoop.it from: fortune.com
Several big names in the cellular communications industry are backing a company called Ingenu that this week launched what it hopes will be a nationwide wireless network dedicated to the Internet of things. Richard Lynch, the former CTO of Verizon Communications, is chairman of the Ingenu board. John Horn, the former CEO of Raco Wireless, a machine-to-machine company that worked closely with T-Mobile and was purchased by Kore Wireless, is the CEO. On the board and acting as advisors for Ingenu are Ivan Seidenberg, former CEO of Verizon Communications, and Dr. Andrew Viterbi, former CTO of Qualcomm. So what do these men see in Ingenu, which was formerly marketing the same technology as On Ramp Wireless? The company has raised more than $100 million from GE Ventures, ConocoPhillips, NRG Energy, Third Wave Ventures, and others to build a wireless data network using a technology called RPMA, which stands for random phase multiple access. Without delving too deeply into the exciting world of spectrum management and modulation, they are building a network for low-bandwidth data transmissions using the same frequency band as Wi-Fi. The idea behind what Ingenu calls The Machine Network is that companies can use the network to transmit very small amounts of data over fairly long distances at a low cost and be assured that they will arrive. The network also uses pretty significant security on the packets, which means that the data transmissions will be secure. The network will compete with similar low-data-rate networks for the Internet of things, such as those being built by SigFox in Europe and San Francisco. It will also compete with the LTE and 3G cellular networks that the carriers offer, although the argument against cellular networks is that those networks have so much more capacity and are generally more expensive, so using them for small scale transmissions from Internet of things is akin to using a firehose when a faucet will do. Ingenu has built test networks in Dallas and Phoenix, which are popular places in the U.S. to test wireless networks of all kinds. It’s physically easy to set up wireless networks in those cities because of the lack of water and topography to interfere with the spectrum. The company has an ambitious plan and lots of capital, but what it is attempting is a big bet. History is littered with failed attempts to build new wireless networks. And while Ingenu has experienced executives on its side, there are several issues that could stand in its way.