When a mobile network is down, overloaded or simply out of range, it can be certainly be inconvenient or potentially much worse.
goTenna aims to keep mobile devices connected regardless of network status by creating its own network over which users can send messages to each other.
goTenna is somewhat reminiscent of the Be-Bound mobile app, which uses SMS messaging to provide internet access when there is no 3G or Wi-Fi availability. Where Be-Bound allows users to use email, check the weather and read the news, amongst other functionality, goTenna was developed with more serious applications in mind.
The device was conceived in the US towards the end of 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the storm knocked out around a quarter of cell towers across a 10 state area, leaving people unable to communicate when it was most critical. Siblings and goTenna founders Daniela and Jorge Perdomo saw that there would be a benefit to people being able to communicate in such situations via their mobile phones regardless of mobile network service.
“Our mission is twofold: to let people communicate whenever and wherever they want, on their own terms, and also to make sure that in times of a true emergency, people are able to reach others around them,” says Daniela Perdomo.