One of the new cohort to join TEAC Germany in 2021, at DT’s Hubraum, is Shoelace Wireless, a US-based startup focused on the development of cooperative networking technologies. Shoelace enables a mobile user to aggregate all wireless networks available to a single mobile device and/or on multiple nearby devices to lace together the best coverage available. Their patented approach is software-only and requires no changes to the current communications infrastructure.
Shoelace was selected into TEAC Hubraum in late July last year and had their virtual kick-off meeting in late October. Although they only formally start the TEAC program in Jan 2021, Jim Mains, CEO of Shoelace, tells us progress is already well underway.
“Already, by the week of Thanksgiving (that’s late November for non-Americans) we were asked to present and demo at Deutsche Telekom’s “virtual” internal Technology Summit,” Jim told us.
“180 DT folks and key execs attended. I think only four outside companies presented and we were the only startup. So this really was great exposure for us. We are also starting a trial with DT on the work we are doing at TIP on HetNet OpenSchema, so these are exciting times.”
The Shoelace Wireless team met with Facebook Connectivity’s (FBC) Dan Rabinowitz in late 2018 and learned about TIP. Seeing clear alignment with TIP’s mission, they joined not long after. Both believe the future of ubiquitous and cost-effective connectivity is leveraging licensed and unlicensed spectrum together. The Shoelace CEO, now co-leads a sub group with DT in TIP WiFi.
Becoming involved in TEAC has been another great step up for the company who’s catchphrase is “Netup”.
“The key benefit, for us is more access to key MNO and partner decision makers, especially with the restrictions that have been placed on us by the pandemic,” says Jim, whose team are already hard at work with the DT Hubraum team, collaborating virtually between the USA and Germany.
“Marina at TEAC has been fantastic. She has made the whole experience of becoming involved with TEAC fun and exciting. With the pandemic, it’s been challenging for startups to have traction with MNOs so this helps tremendously. We’ve received a lot of focus to get things moving faster and have forged tight, collaborative relationships with colleagues at DT, FBC and other TIP ecosystem members.”
Jim’s advice to anyone thinking of applying to join a TEAC is “don’t think, do! TIP and TEAC are great sources of networking and collaboration,” he adds.
Without TEAC, the team at Shoelace Wireless say they would have spent months trying to get trials with MNOs. According to Jim: “Even without the pandemic it’s extremely tough for startups to get MNO’s attention, but DT is much different from normal MNOs. They say the next innovation can be from two guys in a garage. We are more like that and we hope to do amazing things with them with TEAC as a springboard.”
Shoelace focuses on innovative and advanced connectivity technology to “boost” mobile internet speed, reliability, and security/privacy. Their patented technology utilises multi-channel aggregation for combining HetNets (e.g. LTE + Cell) to be used simultaneously for an always best connected experience. If you’d like to see the impact of their work do follow these links to a couple of short videos that illustrate the impact their technology has for device users:
OOKla speed test comparison
TwitchTV Live streaming demo
With the support of TEAC, Shoelace Wireless hopes to launch its technology with DT and then grow from there to help more people get connected. For a company who’s mission is to make the mobile internet faster, cheaper and more reliable they have some exciting ideas for operators to try that they believe will be highly differentiating.
To find out more about TEAC, TIP’s global accelerator, visit the TEAC website.