goTenna's Aspen Grove™ Mesh Networking Protocols Outperform Current Industry Standards for Long-Range Decentralized Communications in Experimental Evaluation

Jan 11, 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 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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Researchers at goTenna, Inc. and the University of Delaware released today a research paper demonstrating the success of the Aspen Grove™ mesh networking protocols in a series of experimental evaluations. The protocol stack outperformed commonly used mesh networking protocols including well-known standards, delivering more short-burst data with less device battery consumption overall.

goTenna's Aspen Grove™ mesh protocol stack uses a novel zero-control-packet approach to increase data transmission efficiency in decentralized, off-grid environments where cellular networks, WiFi, and satellite systems are impractical. Already in use by military, public safety, and disaster relief professionals, the Aspen Grove™ stack is typically integrated with low-power, low-cost goTenna hardware devices, but has the potential to be integrated into any device. 

In a series of network simulations and testbed experiments, the Aspen Grove™ protocol for network-wide broadcasting (one-to-many communication) provided 55% longer device battery life on average than industry standards, while the protocol for unicasting (one-to-one communication) delivered 500% more data packets than a commonly used standard in identically-arranged scenarios.

Ram Ramanathan, Chief Scientist at goTenna, shared the details of these findings at the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking (SECON) in Boston. The full research paper is accessible online and will be downloadable from the IEEE xPlore database in a few weeks. 

"When building a mobile mesh protocol for long-range short-burst networks, it is important to keep the control overhead low for scalability," said Ram Ramanathan, Chief Scientist at goTenna. "Mesh vendors and even researchers have struggled with the challenges of resilient and scalable mesh networking. Aspen Grove™'s novel zero-control-packet approach provides a proven way forward for networking low-cost, long-range devices."  

Previous publications have also compared the connectivity provided by goTenna to decentralized versions of WiFi and LTE such as WiFi-direct and LTE-direct. For short-burst data communications like real-time mapping and text-based messages, goTenna consistently outperforms the coverage and cost of traditional systems.

In addition to Ramanathan, the Aspen Grove™ 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.