goTenna wants to keep you connected when there is no WiFi or cell service

by: Jonathan FeistJuly 18, 2014

goTenna, the portable radio antenna that allows you to communicate with others without the need of a WiFi connection or cell network, is taking “off-the-beaten-path” to the next level. We’ve already seen various types of communication apps for Android; Walkie-Talkie apps are not uncommon, nor are obscure chatting apps, but goTenna will help you go one step further, even taking you completely off the grid.

The concept is pretty simple, and quite possibly brilliant. goTenna is a tiny radio tower that fits in your pocket, connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth-LE, using the companion app on your device you can send and receive messages and more with other goTenna users.

goTenna how it works

Now, I have a pretty good idea what you are thinking right now – why do I need this? The idea of goTenna is to bring connectivity to users when there is no other connection. Whether you are hiking in the wilderness, the power goes out or any other scenario where you do not have a solid WiFi or cell signal.

goTenna Distance Estimator

goTenna is claiming to give you upwards of 30 hours of use on a charge, and, at its best, can let you communicate with other users up to 50 miles away. The companion app appears to primarily be a messaging service, but it also includes:

  • offline maps and the ability to share your location with others.
  • Individual and group messaging.
  • “Shout” broadcast for emergencies.
  • Enough internal memory itself to catch a few incoming messages to sync with your phone the next time you connect.

goTenna Pre Order today

Whether you are looking for a secure line of communication or a way to keep in touch when WiFi and cell are not available, the goTenna may just be the answer for your needs. If you like what you see, hurry over to their site to get in on their introductory pre-order sale. goTenna is sold in pairs for $149.99 now, $300 regular price.

There you have it, an off the grid communications and mapping tool for your Android or iOS devices. What do you think, can goTenna find enough of an audience to find a home in your family emergency kit?

  • Junior in Jamaica

    Interesting concept…may be a niche product more than anything. Hope they weren’t planning to “take over the world” with it.

  • Aravind Sudheer Babu

    I was like
    “Woah a wireless device that spits out Internet connectivity when there are no wireless network source around .. AWESOME.. what sort of technology is this ”

    Then i heard ” ….. with other goTenna users, you can do….” towards the end..

    That is a drag, and highly unlikely in my place which is India…

    The Adoption rate would be damn slow..

  • monkey god

    Seems like a lot of money for what seems be to a text walkie-talkie. Why would anyone want to purchase this and force everyone else to purchase one just so you can text them on occasional instances where there is no wifi or data signal? Up to 50 mile range is not that great considering most people in populated cities have to drive that far or more to go hiking in the woods.

    • ChristineDMcKinnis


  • StacyD

    ummm…. why not just have everyone do wifi p2p?

    • ashblade

      most likely because of the range – 802.11a/b/g/n just can’t reach that far of a distance. At least that’s my guess based on reading

      • Japzone

        WiFi can go pretty far. I’ve been on an island in a bay and was picking up the signal from a harbor that was at least half a mile away. The real issue is having a big enough antenna and enough power to reply. Neither of which a smartphone has built in.

  • Japzone

    I’d be more interested if it was closer to $50 instead of $150