goTenna enhances wildlife preservation efforts and park ranger safety through long-range connectivity

Dec 13, 2023

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 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. goTenna's products are currently used by over 300 law enforcement, military, and public safety agencies worldwide. goTenna is backed by investors including Founders Fund, Union Square Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Bloomberg Beta.

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goTenna established a pivotal communications network for wildlife conservation across two distinct locations: one spanning 3,246 square miles and another covering 546 square miles within densely vegetated areas.

JERSEY CITY, NJ (December 13, 2023) - Leading mobile mesh networking company goTenna led two demonstrations with Tough Stump Technologies to deliver reliable and transformative communication infrastructure for park rangers in remote wildlife environments. The impact of advanced technologies on wildlife conservation extends beyond safeguarding endangered species, including enhancing situational awareness of park rangers and, ultimately, the safety of those dedicated to protecting wildlife from poachers.

The demonstrations occurred in two environmentally distinct locations: Mozambique and South Africa. The Mozambique demonstration site featured very flat terrain and a truly austere environment with no cellular connectivity or fixed power infrastructure. Meanwhile, the 20,000-square mile South African site, which is home to 60 percent of the world’s existing rhino population, has a variable terrain with significantly high ground and supports some cellular infrastructure. 

Both demonstrations successfully transmitted data even in dense vegetation. goTenna established a crucial wildlife conservation communication network, achieving a remarkable range of 27 miles (45 km) through the challenging local terrain. These field tests in two diverse locations showcased goTenna's adaptability and versatility in austere environments, emphasizing its exceptional capabilities.

Improved situational awareness is not only beneficial to anti-poaching efforts but also to the safety of rangers themselves. Park rangers utilize Tough Stump Android Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) tags to track people and vehicles in the park. goTenna Pro X Series devices significantly improved the range of communication with central operations and armed park rangers with decentralized communication and mission-critical situational awareness. This solution will ultimately keep park rangers safe from miscommunication among friendly forces while enabling maneuver elements to target poachers. The setup of this crucial infrastructure took less than three hours, with the network operational within minutes once in place.

goTenna's Pro X2 network, paired with Tough Stump ATOS tags, successfully generated a long-range backhaul connection from the central camp throughout the parks at distances never achieved before. Together, goTenna Pro X2 and Tough Stump ATOS tags provide effective, low-cost communications solutions for some of the most remote environments in the world - a game changer for those operating in them.

“This proof of concept demonstrates how goTenna transformed wildlife conservation efforts by dramatically increasing the situational awareness of park rangers and improving the safety of everyone involved in protecting wildlife from poachers,” said Ari Schuler, goTenna CEO. “This field test also demonstrates goTenna’s interoperability with powerful capabilities like the Tough Stump ATOS tags, yet again showing goTenna is a reliable and proven partner to meet operators' unique challenges in austere environments.”

The goTenna Pro X2 was used in relay mode to act as permanent infrastructure during testing. These relays were strategically placed on an existing tower system at the Mozambique site, as higher elevation is a factor when extending the connectivity range. The goTenna Pro X2s achieved 27 miles (45 km) point-to-point during this demonstration, even while operating in significant vegetation. When using the relays, one demonstration created a 3,246 square mile network with four relays, while the second demo covered 546 square miles within densely vegetated areas, facilitated by three strategically positioned relays.

“Partners like goTenna allow us to bring the overall situational awareness of daily operations happening in real-time back to the operations center,” said Jarrett Heavenston, CEO of Tough Stump Technologies. “With our ATOS tags placed on aircraft and ground assets, key personnel are enabled to make educated and timely decisions to allocate resources and personnel movements. goTenna has provided a reliable back-haul infrastructure in conjunction with ATAK to empower the rangers with a real-time tracking capability from both the air and the ground. We are grateful for the opportunity to assist the Rangers in Mozambique and South Africa and increase the effectiveness of the anti-poaching efforts.”

Connectivity is critical to maximizing wildlife conservation efforts. Real-time communications across large distances increase life-saving situational awareness and deliver essential mission enhancements for park rangers' operations.