goTenna’s ECHO Mesh Networking Protocol Achieves Unparalleled Broadcast Scalability in Experimental Evaluations

Feb 17, 2021

About goTenna

goTenna is advancing universal access to connectivity by building the world's most intelligent and scalable mobile mesh networks. goTenna is the world's leading mobile mesh networking company, providing off-grid connectivity solutions for smartphones and other devices, as well as augmenting traditional communications networks. This technology enables mobile, long-range connectivity even without cell, wifi or satellite connectivity. goTenna's drive to create resilient connectivity began during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when approximately a third of cell towers and power stations in affected areas failed. Based in Brooklyn, goTenna is backed by investors including Founders Fund, Union Square Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Bloomberg Beta.

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Researchers at goTenna, Inc. and the University of Delaware released a research paper demonstrating the superiority of the ECHO mesh networking protocol using zero-control-packet broadcasting in a series of evaluations. 

Instead of using control packets, ECHO uses a field in the data packet header, and a node listens for an “echo” of the specific packet to determine its membership in the broadcast backbone. The research shows using high-fidelity simulations that ECHO provides a significantly  better delivery ratio than Flooding, Multi-Point Relay (MPR) and Opportunistic Announcement (OA) for 50-node networks and dramatically reduces the communication load. 

In a series of experiments, researchers used a 12-node testbed of goTenna mobile mesh networking devices that show how ECHO reduces transmissions by about 3x and increases battery life by more than 50% over Flooding. This is crucial for military, public safety and disaster relief professionals who rely on low-power, low-capacity wireless networks.

The findings were published in the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing journal on February 3, 2021. The full research paper preprint is accessible online and is downloadable from the IEEE journal here. 

“With this work, we have shown that ECHO outperforms both de facto standards and recent advancements. Its acceptance by such a reputable journal proves that ECHO represents the best-of-breed in mesh broadcasting” said Ram Ramanathan, Chief Scientist at goTenna. “ECHO’s performance advantages are crucial for public safety and military operators who rely on low-power, low-capacity wireless networks.”

In addition to Ramanathan, the ECHO research team includes Christophe Servaes and Warren Ramanathan of goTenna’s Engineering department, and Ayush Dusia and Adarshpal S. Sethi of the University of Delaware’s Computer and Information Sciences program.