Posted by & filed under Events, Mesh, Network, Peer-to-peer, Wireless Network.

The Mobile Virtual Network Operator’s landscape is changing fast. The companies to watch that will change the landscape will be those that realize that “their community is their customer.” Firms who think this way about approaching their community, thinking through the values ‘shared and crowdsourced’ are Urban Airship, BMW and Facebook.

Traditional new entrants in the market like Ting, YourKarma, FreedomPOP, Republic Wireless and Netzero focus on offering mobile data and offloading to Wi-Fi while introducing the concept of social sharing. It is clear that their selling strategy is a cost model that focuses on online sales, social sharing and Wi-Fi. But how can they really compete against a Verizon or an AT&T offering when they primarily use the Sprint and Clearwire networks with all the implied consequences in terms of network availability and coverage?

One thing we have learned about building wireless data networks is that users, or even M2M applications, subscribe to a wireless network technology only if they can obtain really good coverage and a solid mobile data offering.

Everyone wants to be connected everywhere, the same as if they were at home. This is the reason Facebook is currently trying to give free Wi-Fi against check-ins. The check-in model certainly limits the use of these Wi-Fi hotspots as users always want to be seamlessly connected and of course, for free.

To succeed, all these MVNOs need to differentiate from even the underlying network. They need to become more independent, improve their coverage, user experience and data speed. They need a hybrid strategy to achieve their desired market expansion results. Hybrid means using 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi, but also using multiple carrier networks at once to provide a faster speed.

An MVNO combining Facebook social sharing features with the local Wi-Fi presence of Starbucks would most probably have a fast adoption and growth rate in the US market. It is certainly what all the new MVNOs are trying to achieve.

Open Garden is a network made of people and devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets. In essence, it is a virtual network that can sit on top of any carrier network, whether it is a cellular network (3G/4G) or a Wi-Fi network. It provides a faster network connection and extends the range of existing Wi-Fi networks and therefore provides stronger coverage, more opportunities to offload and savings on data costs.


Today, users normally access the Internet using only one path. For example, when your phone connects to Wi-Fi, it no longer uses its 4G connection; if you are in an area with multiple Wi-Fi hotspots, you only use one. Open Garden is introducing a way to access the Internet over multiple paths at once, improving speed, reliability, and also eliminating configuration choices. You will no longer need to decide how you connect since Open Garden dynamically connects using for you using multiple paths.




When there is no direct Internet connection, devices will access the Internet through chains of other devices. Again, if necessary, chains will grow to reach the Internet.


Posted by & filed under Android, Mesh, Network, Uncategorized, Wireless Network.

The ability to work remotely has become an important tool in the business world and the addition of WiFi access on trains and airplanes has been of great assistance. Last week I ended my two week long visit to the East coast for the holidays and attempting to catch up with my community managing and other Open Garden related duties was the goal for the flight.
For accessing the Gogo network on Virgin America, there are generally several options. Usually it comes down to choosing between plans that are time limited, outrageously priced or (here’s the key) limited to mobile devices. The mobile plan is about a third the cost of the non-mobile plan, both lasting the duration of the flight.
Knowing about the existence of general radio interference in airplanes, I was nervous about purchasing a plan that could render ineffective on my laptop for a six hour trip. But what better way to do some real-world, necessity based testing for Open Garden, right? So I took the plunge and purchased the plan through my Droid Razr Maxx and connected with Open Garden to my MacBook Air. For the first 5 minutes, I was getting some interference issues (both WiFi and OG connection dropping) but after stabilizing, I was able to use my MacBook Air for the remainder of the flight with absolutely no dropped or lagging connections! The ability for Open Garden to save in costs while travelling are limitless and I encourage everyone to find and test ways to make Open Garden useful to other unique situations!

“The global airline transportation network visualized by the flight pathways of all commercial flights worldwide.”

Posted by & filed under Mesh, Net Neutrality, Network, Non profit, Peer-to-peer, Uncategorized, Wireless Network.

“Can we share lessons between neurons and networks in the way we nurture and develop both?” That’s one of the questions Tiffany Shlain tries to answer in her latest video “Brain power” released together with a Ted book.

I love and recommend her work as it is directly linked to the basic concept that lead us to start Open Garden. For those of you who remember our first video that was explaining our concept of mesh network for Android Open 2011,   the mesh network was compared with neuronal network formed in our brain.

This idea was first explored by the paleontologist-philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s 1955 book, The Phenomenon of Man, who explores the “noosphere,” or the collective human consciousness — the Earth’s mental layer formed by the totality of human thought. Peter Russell coined the term “global brain” in his 1982 book of the same name. In it, he expands on Marshall McLuhan’s 1960s concept of a global village — a world closely connected by telecommunications. Russell takes McLuhan’s global vision further, speculating that new telecommunication technologies will lead to a full awakening of humanity’s consciousness.”

Open Garden Mesh Network – demo from Open Garden on Vimeo.

Posted by & filed under Net Neutrality, Non profit, Wireless Network.


For decades, it has not been possible to have open communications systems on the physical level. In a world of wires, network access meant physical access. Wireless networking enabled the technical possibility of a completely open network.

An open network is better than one with many silos, as long as free riding is contained, because, to a given user paying a given cost, an open network provides connectivity that is faster and in more places. To see how an open network creates additional value, consider two people, you and me. We both have the same type of connection at home, and pay the same for it. Occasionally, we are near each other’s houses, but we do not know each other. Consider the baseline world as we have it today: I can use my network when I am home and you can use your network when you are home, but we can’t use each other’s networks. Imagine a world where both of our networks are open. Now each of us can use the other’s network when we are next to the other’s house. Given that my network is mostly not used at any given moment, you using it for brief periods when you are near costs me very little. However, my ability to use your network when I am near your house creates new value for me, far greater value than what I lost when you used my network. Thus, for the same price, the open network served both of us better than a closed one would have.

The sharing of last-mile Internet capacity extends the way the Internet works already everywhere but the last hop to the connection at the very edge. On the Internet, users already share capacity of all the links. This is what makes the Internet so cost-effective. This statistical multiplexing principle allows to achieve better level of service for any given amount of capacity. Not only is statistical multiplexing used on the Internet, similar principles apply to airline overbooking and even fractional reserve banking.

Open Garden supports and promotes the openness of wireless networks, which is why we are a member of the Open Wireless coalition, founded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The goals of the movement are also our goals.

The place of Open Garden in the Open Wireless ecosystem is that of a tool. One of the concerns of potential adopters of open wireless is free riding. Open Garden guarantees mutuality by the very nature of our software: to access Open Garden, users need to install the app, and installing the app also enables sharing of their own access.

We look forward to working with Open Wireless coalition to bring about a world where more utility is extracted from networks and where the openness and the sharing that exists everywhere else on the Internet also extends to the very edge of the network.