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Thought Leaders in Internet of Things: John Horn, CEO of Ingenu (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Apr 1st 2016

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to you as well as to your company.

John Horn: I’m the CEO of Ingenu. We are a major player globally in the Internet of Things. When you look at the Internet of Things, all of the things need to be connected in order for there to be an Internet of Things. If there is no connectivity, there is no data path. There is no solution. A group of pioneers in this industry on the human side realized that the technology that exists for human communication was not good enough for machines.

What makes these devices that we hold on our hands wonderful is the fact that we want the newest, latest, and greatest. In the machine world, what companies need and solutions want is stability – long-term stability of network, long-term stability of technology, and long-term stability of the product itself. Founders of Ingenu created a technology called RPMA which stands for Random Phase Multiple Access. It takes the physical principles of cellular and turns them 180 degrees. It takes the weakness of cellular and makes them the strength of RPMA.

Sramana Mitra: I’d like to understand it more. Double-click one level down and help us understand better what the weaknesses of cellular are and what are the strength that you are building.

John Horn: I’ve been a cellular guy for many years. My leadership team has been together for 14 years. We started the M2M organisation at T-Mobile. We spun that group out to a company called RacoWireless that we sold about 15 months ago. We’ve already built two successful organisations. This is the third in bringing the market great solutions and great support, first, on the cellular side and now on the RPMA side. We understand the cellular business very well. One of the challenges is right at this inflection point where IoT is growing.

You have so many things that are happening at one time with IoT expanding and with demand for products and solutions exploding. Many years ago, we lived through analog. Now we’re living through the sunset of 2G and not far behind, it will be the sunset of 3G. You have many solutions where people have deployed devices and they never want to touch them again. They want to leave it out there as long as possible. Every time they want a human to touch it, they roll a truck to touch that device, it  costs way too much money and it starts to destroy the ROI of that solution.

What RPMA brings to the table is a strong ecosystem that’s all IP protected where no one can shut anything down. We control the entire communication layer. We can give people 10 to 30-year network guarantees because there will be nothing to sunset. That is a huge advantage over cellular. Another one is battery life. We can get 20 years of battery life. You could stick a device on a container, ship that container all over the United States or all over the world, ping it multiple times during the week to see where it is. That battery lasts for 20 years. That changes the world completely for machines. It opens up whole new vertical opportunities.

Another segment of the advantage of RPMA is the cost to deploy a network where I will spend $25,000 to cover a piece of footprint and cellular companies may spend as much as $3 million to cover the exact same footprint. We can cover up to 200 square miles with one tower and the cost of that tower is microscopically small compared to what it would cost to set up an entire tower for cellular. From a coverage, cost, and battery life perspective, RPMA has a huge advantage.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Internet of Things: John Horn, CEO of Ingenu
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