All About Ingenu’s Machine Network

February 03, 2016 by Orrin Bigelow

The Machine Network, based on Ingenu's RPMA Technology, is a self-modulating, direct-sequence spread spectrum wireless communication system operating in the 2.4GHz band. It is intended for Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things applications only.

Low-power autonomous IoT? Ingenu says yes.

On-Ramp Wireless, rebranded as Ingenu in 2015, designs, sells, and markets The Machine Network, a network of wireless connectivity designed exclusively for machine-to-machine communication built on the robust and powerful RPMA technology. The Machine the first such network across the United States and the world dedicated entirely to connecting the Internet of Things." RPMA is designed for low-power, low-cost, long-range applications where battery life and network longevity are of importance. Richard Lynch, former CTO of Verizon, describes RPMA as, "uniquely different to the advantage of the end-user customer, and uniquely different to the network provider." 

RPMA operates in a star-network (similar to WiFi), where one access point can send and receive signals to a multitude of devices/nodes in the field, thus providing the necessary bridge to the internet for each device in the field. What sets RPMA apart is the intent of RPMA: it was designed for the majority of machines in the field, which on average, transmit/receive less than 1MB of data per month. This is extremely smaller than your 10GB cell phone plan! 

The Machine Network allows for "digital oil fields," remotely operated and monitored.

Since most machines do not actually communicate very often, the focus can then be shifted to autonomy. With autonomy comes batteries. Once batteries are involved, the main focus ultimately shifts to power efficiency. With a strict power budget in mind, RPMA technology is designed to squeeze out the maximum transmission range possible while keeping modules in the field powered by batteries for 20+ years! (That’s like replacing a battery you first installed into a machine in 1996…when people spent less than 30 minutes a month surfing the “World Wide Web” on Netscape Navigator.) Twenty-year battery life is simply unheard of in wireless networks, but Ingenu’s RPMA technology has the ability to revolutionize the way machines and networks interact.

Ingenu’s “Machine Network” is a public network, similar to cellular networks, where a machine is equipped with a module (think SIM card) that can communicate with the RPMA network. Each machine’s RPMA module communicates with an Access Point at least once a day to ensure link connectivity is maintained. Transmission power is also intelligently tracked and configured to keep modules in the field from interfering with other modules in close proximity. This is key when the density of devices in the field rises and RPMA modules need to send relevant data without interference from other RPMA modules.

Ingenu promises 20+ years of network compatibility for their connected cars applications.

RPMA operates in a standard spectrum, allowing devices to operate regardless of where they are commissioned in the world. And, according to Ingenu’s website, RPMA technology offers six state-of-the-art security guarantees: mutual authentication, message integrity and replay protection, message confidentiality, device anonymity, authentic firmware upgrades, and secure multicasts.

A typical RPMA Access Point can cover up to 300 square miles (approximately 17 times greater coverage than cell phone towers and 500 times greater coverage than WiFi). Ingenu already has 38 private RPMA networks operating today, but Ingenu is also rolling out public Machine Networks in 31 major cities across the United States. To see if you’re near one of these new and exciting networks, you can view Ingenu’s coverage map on their website.