Robert Schena Issue: Europe II 2016
Article no.: 13
Topic: How kinetic mesh technology for private wireless networks aids humanity’s desire for movement
Author: Robert Schena
Title: CEO & Founder
Organisation: Rajant Corporation
PDF size: 229KB

About author

Robert J. Schena – Chairman, CEO and Cofounder
In 2002, Robert Schena co-founded Rajant Corporation, the pioneer of Kinetic Mesh Networks and a Finalist for PACT’s Emerging Technology Company of the Year.
In 1999, Robert Schena co-founded Airclic, Inc., a wireless application and scanning company and raised $15 million from a group led by Goldman Sachs and Blue Capital Management. Motorola and Symbol Technologies forged a partnership to acquire Airclic and closed a $287 million financial round as well as the contribution of intellectual property in excess of $162 million. Also in 1999, Mr. Schena participated in the founding of World Wide Packets, a Gigabit Ethernet company.
In 1996, Mr. Schena successfully obtained for his company an FCC license to provide an Open Video System, becoming the first one to do so. In 2004, he was successful in changing U.S. telecommunications regulations, resulting in obtaining the first FCC license for broadband services delivered in the U.S. from a Canadian satellite.
In 1992, Schena founded FutureVision of America (FVA), forging a partnership with Bell Atlantic to commercially launch the first video dial tone and digital TV over television. FVA was successfully sold to Bell Atlantic.
Prior to founding FVA, Schena served as the CFO, Treasurer, Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Marketing for Harron Communications. Mr. Schena was appointed to the State of Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Board by Governor Ridge in 2001 and reappointed by Governor Rendell in 2004 and 2008. He serves on the Board of the Methodist Home for Children. In late 2010, Mr. Schena was named to Governor Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Transition Team.
Mr. Schena earned a BA in Business Administration from Temple University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has lectured extensively on broadband communications to professional and corporate organizations.

Article abstract

Kinetic mesh networks emerged as a result of 9/11 and the tragic results that ensued, including the failure of the communications infrastructure that fateful day. Since 9/11, kinetic mesh networks have made their way to Europe and other parts of the world, enabling people and organisations to deploy networks into places where communications infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged or where they never existed. This has allowed real-time mobility across the network to be achieved. 

Full Article

Mobility has been a part of humanity’s desires across cultures for millennia. The ability to chart one’s own destiny – unencumbered – is part of the canon of great ideas upon which democracy and freedom were established in the Western world.
Today, a new type of mobility has emerged with reckless abandon. It’s the type of mobility that – again – is changing the world as we know it and quickly.
Consider this:
• Cisco reported that global mobile data traffic grew an estimated 74 percent in 2015, with Central and Eastern Europe growing 71 percent and Western Europe growing 52 percent. The same report also noted that overall mobile data traffic is expected to grow to 30.6 exabytes per month by 2020, an eightfold increase over 2015.

• UK mobile operator EE predicted that its network will carry triple the amount of data by 2018 than it carried in 2015, which is 16 times more than it did in 2012.

• Gartner says with the move toward computing everywhere, more and more sensors will generate even more data, creating new challenges for IT.

With all that broadband traffic, the private wireless network has emerged as a key infrastructure – especially for businesses – for accommodating this seemingly unquenchable thirst for bandwidth, a demand that is especially high in Europe.
The wireless world is extremely dynamic and lots of things can interfere with wireless communication – trucks driving by, people moving, etc. Traditionally, the way wireless networks function has resulted in varying degrees of performance.
Kinetic mesh networks and their origins in disaster relief
Wireless mesh networks, a type of wireless network, are well established. They create large-scale local wireless networks capable of multiple concurrent connections with a lot of redundancy. But now, there is a different type of wireless mesh network – kinetic mesh – that has been achieving momentum and has demonstrated greater adaptability to network changes on-the-fly versus other types of wireless networking.
The technology is not new; it’s been used in some of the most rugged environments to date, specifically in military and mining applications. It can handle movements onto the network or off the network, as well as interference crossing multiple channels – much more adeptly than other networking technologies. It helps keep a network running reliably despite all the variables that wireless networks generally confront.
Wireless mesh networks are expected to attain growth of €157.1 million (more than £123 million) in 2017, an almost 16 percent compounded annual growth rate, according to IHS Research.
Kinetic mesh networks emerged as a result of 9/11 and the tragic results that ensued, including the failure of the communications infrastructure that fateful day. Since 9/11, kinetic mesh networks have made their way to Europe and other parts of the world, enabling people and organisations to deploy networks into places where communications infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged or where they never existed. This has allowed real-time mobility across the network to be achieved.
In disaster scenarios, as well as in other types of environments, any communications infrastructure needs to deliver throughput and scalability. The way communications are routed plays an important part in achieving these goals.
Routing and administrative issues resolved
Traditional ways of network routing work just fine in a stable environment. But in rugged, dynamic environments, kinetic mesh is increasingly effective where infrastructure devices are constantly on the move.
That’s because a kinetic mesh’s wireless router has extra processing power and solid state memory, which allow it to do edge-processing. This edge-processing can store video and other data, “groom” the data, and enable the data to be consumed directly from the router.
The ability of a kinetic mesh platform to handle changes and process things at the edge give people access to their applications much more quickly.
For example, municipal buses capture video on their routes each day. At the end of a shift, the drivers hand-deliver video hard drives to their bus depot colleagues. With kinetic mesh’s capabilities, the enormous video files can be uploaded wirelessly without human intervention. The application is automated through edge-processing.
This type of edge-processing also can be used to help bus drivers and railroad engineers in other ways. Nodes embedded into sensors at rail crossings and other places can relay data, including videos to officials several miles from potential hazards, reducing risks of accidents.
In mesh networks, the administrative overhead and traffic to keep the infrastructure up and running grows on a curve as new nodes are added. In other words, as devices join the network, the administration necessary to keep things running consumes available bandwidth. Apps stop working because the overhead is gorging itself on the bandwidth.
A kinetic mesh network keeps overhead low and constant – in spite of the number of nodes added. The different approach in how the network is set up and managed has, in effect, eliminated the problem of curvilinear growth of overhead.
Another important development in the kinetic mesh infrastructure is the ability to automate the wireless network so that non-technical people can easily deploy it. The administration behind the network has become the de facto computer expert. Once the problem of making networks relatively easy to set up is solved, then the prime issue of mobility has to be addressed. The kinetic mesh network is in one place, but it needs to be moved to another. Elements of the network have to be in motion and the network has to be scalable, too.
In the broadband world, mobility is an expression of the ability to change. Nodes come into range and join the network; other nodes fall out of range and depart the network. Change is a constant in these types of networks.
Think of it this way: It’s unlikely that an organisation would allow its computer closet to be opened for just anyone to put things in or take things out. A lot of planning goes into the computers and technology that make their way into that closet. With kinetic mesh networking, nodes – essentially wireless computers – automatically enter and depart a proverbial moving computer closet. In essence, that computer closet lives in a world outside of a single office – a “Living Network” of sorts. Think about those nodes on trucks, on people, on aircraft.
Kinetic mesh networks have simplified and automated the ability of those vehicles now connected by those nodes to join the network – and within milliseconds.
In traditional infrastructures, adding a PC to the network means telling the rest of the network that a new device with IP address is entering. It may take a few minutes or a half hour to make the necessary changes and to inform all other computers on the network that a “new guy” has arrived, or left for that matter.
Kinetic mesh networks have taken the complex notion of adding an asset to the network, simplified the process for joining or leaving, and eliminated disruption to other nodes on that network.
What that means for businesses
Across industries, businesses want to become more efficient in their operations; they want the latest data to make the most informed decisions. However, they must weigh the cost of collecting such information versus the benefit of having it for decision-making.
Kinetic mesh networks are driving down the cost of gathering that information. As such networks are installed, the cost of the next unit of information is declining; therefore, it becomes worthwhile to gather such information toward making better operational decisions.
And not only because the cost of allowing machine to machine communication is dropping but also because of the liability and human cost of misconnections in a network environment.
If connections fail or don’t take place as scheduled, motors and pumps get damaged, trains go barrelling through intersections, planes overshoot runways. Bad things can happen when network devices and people connect wrongly or fail to connect.
Ubiquitous connectivity is growing in importance for business. The dependency on our communications infrastructure will grow exponentially and means a renewed focus on reliability and security.
Kinetic mesh networks – adaptable, smart, productive, and dynamic – deliver such reliability and security based on their proven success in rugged environments and their demonstrated abilities to connect people in their never-ending quest to be mobile.