There are a few connected cars in the market today which offers Wi-Fi technology to exchange information with other cars as well as to provide passengers with means to connect to internet while travelling. However, the technology is using LTE coverage which on average is providing speeds around 5 megabits per second (Mbps) and so if the cell service drops, the internet will be disconnected.
Kymeta is a company which is currently working on an antenna to solve this issue. The antenna is simply known as mTenna. It is patented as a lightweight, low-power, flat-pannel antenna which able to communicate with satellites in order to provide internet to the consumers.
mTenna has similar function as satellite dish which is normally installed on the roof of a house. Although both of them have no moving parts, however, mTenna is able to communicate with satellites across the entire sky whereas satellite dish points at just one area in the sky.
mTenna is designed to provide internet access to places such as in the car, flight as well as on a cruise ship in the middle of nowhere.
mTenna is currently undergoing testing to prove its functionality while on the go. It was embedded on top of a car’s roof and over the course of 8000 miles. The result is that the device is able to maintain connection with satellites of different frequencies; it is able to track the signal’s polarization and the satellite’s orientation while on the move and so signal degradation can be avoided and lastly it able to maintain constant communication with satellites over the entire course.
Kymeta will be conducting a number of Alpha and Beta tests over the next year and mTenna will hopefully be ready by the end of 2016. The company is also reported to have partnered with one of the automaker in order to bring the device into the market.