LatenceTech: pioneering the future of ultra-low latency wireless connectivity

Jonathan Kaplan, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

As wireless technology evolves and grows ever more seamlessly into the fabric of our daily lives, there remain significant problems to solve. Discrepancies in connection speed, known as latency, may only seem like a nuisance when on a video call, but can have major ramifications for emerging applications. Industrial IoT solutions require a near-instant and uninterrupted flow of data for optimal efficiency; autonomous vehicles will need to communicate with each other with minimal delay in order to guarantee safe operation; telemedical surgery absolutely calls for low-latency communication as human life hangs in the balance. LatenceTech, a Canada-based startup, aims to serve this growing market through novel analytics software.

LatenceTech, founded in 2020 by telecom industry veteran Benoit Gendron, a former sales director at Ericsson in Canada, stands at the forefront of the emerging "smart" wireless communication wave. With a focus on measuring and analyzing latency, the startup has developed a cloud-native container-based active monitoring solution that empowers mobile operators, telecom vendors, and industries with real-time insights into their network quality and latency metrics.

"These new innovations require between five and 25 milliseconds of stable, low latency connection to function at their best," explained Gendron in an interview with DIGITIMES. "If there's too much variation, and that's what we measure, then they can have issues that affect operational success." The solution Gendron and his team developed has a wide potential user base. "We initially built the software for mobile operators, but we saw that there are many other verticals, like mining and telemetry in cars, that need this technology."

A Ready Solution for an Expanding Market

LatenceTech's core offering is its cloud-native active monitoring solution. It is designed to track, predict, and analyze the quality and latency of public and private 5G networks. Comprising three essential components, the solution can be swiftly tailored to meet specific end-to-end network and application monitoring needs.

LatenceTech's innovation is in its specific active monitoring tool, which Gendron explains: "It's software that measures the quality and performance of the connectivity, and transfers the results to an analytics platform. This enables real-time 24/7 monitoring, forecasting, diagnostics and cost evaluation. It's a container-based software agent that we put inside the 5G modem, IoT device or the connected equipment. Then we measure these different aspects of latency and reliability of the network through active monitoring – meaning that we generate or we emulate the connectivity characteristics of the connected robot, car, etc. We perform our measurements in real-time with multiple network, IP and industrial protocols, aimed at a target positioned at the other end of the network, as if it were the connected equipment, and continuously receive time-stamped responses back. We base our measurements off these responses. That's why it's called active monitoring."

LatenceTech's focus on ultra-low latency connectivity has been driven by the realization that many new innovative services and industrial equipment require stable upper bounded latency connectivity to function optimally. Whether it's teleoperation, telemedicine, or autonomous equipment, safety, security, and business continuity rely on continuous tracking of latency. LatenceTech's software-based active monitoring and analytics solution appeals to numerous markets looking to access real-time tracking, prediction, diagnostics, and optimization insights for wireless connectivity. "We're working with Swedish manufacturers," says Gendron. "For example, with a company called Veoneer. They are an ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) supplier to automotive OEMs. With them and Ericsson, we have done a proof-of-concept to collect and predict cellular network latency used as a new input to car's self-driving systems paving the way for full autonomy and connected mobility."

Incorporating AI to Serve Customer Needs

LatenceTech's real-time cloud-native monitoring solution delivers valuable insights using multiple IP and industrial protocols. One key advantage is the platform's use of AI to enhance its operational efficacy. "We use AI, for example, to highlight anomalies," explains Gendron. "So we can detect an anomaly within 20 milliseconds and send an alarm to the connected equipment. That's the first application of AI. It can assess and determine what is and isn't a latency anomaly. The second use is in forecasting. Today, we can forecast the network latency for the next 90 seconds with a high level of confidence. If our forecast exceeds some pre-set thresholds that is required for connected equipment, or service we can send an immediate alarm to help prevent potential issues or make sure the service, such as an autonomous car or collaborative robot would remain safe."

A noteworthy aspect of LatenceTech's offerings is its user-friendly and modifiable real-time dashboards, enabling visualization of connectivity metrics related to low latency levels, volatility, reliability, bandwidth, and more. This allows users to make continuous improvements and track SLA commitments effectively, as we can see below:


Monetizing the Benefits of Ultra-Low Latency

LatenceTech's focus on ultra-low latency goes beyond technical improvements; the startup has also developed a groundbreaking business model innovation to monetize sustained low latency 5G connectivity for the industrial sector. This new approach allows mobile carriers to promote "Premium 5G" plans with latency guarantees, providing them with a competitive edge and the potential to increase B2B market share and revenue.

The benefits of measuring and accurately predicting connectivity latency are not lost on manufacturing industry insiders. Gendron and his company are always looking for opportunities to expand and show off their technology to prospective users, and those within the Asian tech supply chain are starting to catch on. "In Taiwan, they're so advanced in automated manufacturing with robots that many companies are starting to see the advantages in this area," said Gendron. "We already have contacts with manufacturers there. In Europe, we have interest from ABB and some motor and robot manufacturers." Mobile operators remain another important market for LatenceTech.

The Future of Ultra-Low Latency Connectivity

Looking ahead, LatenceTech's vision remains centered on the continuous evolution of wireless connectivity. The startup continues to explore new partnerships and collaborations to support innovations such as autonomous cars and connected industrial equipment. By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning-based methods, LatenceTech can identify sources and factors affecting network latency, ensuring stable and reliable wireless connectivity to unlock the full potential of low-latency 5G networks. As the demand for ultra-low latency connectivity continues to rise with new innovations and services, LatenceTech remains committed to shaping the wireless landscape of the future, driving progress and redefining what's possible in the world of wireless communication.