One of the questions we, at goTenna, get asked most is: what’s the difference between goTenna Mesh and goTenna Pro X?
goTenna Mesh is an off-grid text and location communication device created for personal use. When paired with smartphones, goTenna’s mobile mesh networking technology enables communications even when mobile, wifi, and satellite networks are unavailable. Users can send private text messages and share GPS locations with ranges of over 4 miles (6 kilometers) point-to-point. There’s also an option to send out an emergency public text chat to any nearby user.
For example, one goTenna mesh user used the devices as a facilities manager and guide, leading kayak trips on a river 200 feet underground. In 2019, Indiana Caverns Guide, Tray Heinke, tested whether the goTenna Mesh networking devices would be able to communicate with one another over 100 feet (30 meters) underground.
The best way to leverage goTenna Mesh is above ground since it requires a line of sight to transfer data from one device to another. Teams may find value in using goTenna to bridge communications between a TTE radio operator at the surface and a remote operating base. When no mobile or satellite networks are available, a goTenna mesh network bridges long distances to help teams relay information from one user to another.
Hopping from goTenna Mesh relay node to relay node, his message made it all the way to the cave’s gift shop. According to Indiana’s local news outlet WFIU-WTIU News, Heinke confirmed that he was able to communicate further than he would have using a two-way, traditional voice radio.
“We’ve been fortunate, so far, that we’ve had no severe injuries requiring a rescue callout,” said user Theinke on the goTenna Mesh community board.
Speaking of rescue teams, goTenna designed a specific tool for all government users to be able to function on their own dedicated frequency sets. You must have an FCC (U.S.) license to operate this device. The device is called goTenna Pro X and is designed for professional teams who require a product that is more powerful, operational, and ruggedized than goTenna Mesh.
“I will always have a pair of goTenna Mesh at home for emergencies or going out into the wilderness, but if I was a wildland firefighter, soldier, police, or emergency responder, I would always keep a goTenna Pro X Deployment Kit plugged in and ready to go,” said Luke Stewart, Director of Customer Experience at goTenna.
goTenna Pro X products have been used in the field by many search and rescue organizations around the world including Mesa County SAR in austere desert environments, Missoula SAR in mountainous dead zones and by HARP rescue volunteers after deadly hurricanes.
goTenna Mesh and goTenna Pro X have very different applications, but the networking technology utilized in both serve one purpose: giving people reliable and stable off-grid comms, whether the enthused hiker or military professional.
Here’s an infographic highlighting the different kinds of applications one might use goTenna Mesh and goTenna Pro X for: