Editor’s note: LTW will begin a three-part series about wireless networks written by Gunter on Wednesday.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE … Matt Gunter first noticed the beige-colored goose when she pecked on his first floor Sprint PCS office window in the fall of 2001.
At the time, Gunter did not know that within a few years the goose would be raising ducks on his farm and he would be raising a company.
Gunter, a radio-frequency engineer, took an interest in the lone goose, which looked thin. He and co-workers fed and watered it, but Gunter worried the goose would wander into I-40 traffic near the office. So he asked his wife to bring the goose home to their two-creek farm.
That led to a series of adventures with the bird they named “Goose-Goose,” because initially they didn’t know her sex, something they discovered when she first laid unfertilized eggs. Eventually Goose-Goose made the Gunter farm its home — now named Goose Creek, as is his company.
Goose-Goose obviously wanted some of her unfertilized eggs to hatch, so to satisfy her desire to be a mother goose, the Gunter’s brought her some ducklings, which she happily raised. Meanwhile, Gunter started hatching his own egg.
“I got her off the corporate campus and that’s what I did for myself,” Gunter says. In 2002, he started Goose Creek Communications, his radio frequency network design and consulting company.
What’s the frequency?
Gunter designs wireless radio frequency networks. “I do all the nasty physics that make wireless networks work in really complicated environments,” he explains. Those include dense office environments with a lot of users, wireless LANS in neighboring offices, complicated floor plans with lots of obstructions. “You have to design around all those complicating factors.”
He did the radio frequency design for the network at seven-story Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, for instance.
“They have 36 access points, fairly complicated. You have to make sure it has a good quality signal throughout the hospital. You wouldn’t want it going out during a medical procedure. You have to make sure it doesn’t interfere with medical equipment. I also advised them on HIPPA compliancy. There’s a lot of regulatory code regarding encryption,” Gunter says.
You run into the same sort of complicating factors designing wireless broadband networks outdoors for cities, he adds.
Analysis, not installation
Gunter emphasizes that he does not do wireless network implementations any more. He does consulting on a variety of projects that involve radio frequency analysis. He helped Hilltower Associates with technical analysis of a tower they bought in Raleigh.
One of the more reasons corporations need experts to help them design their wireless networks is that too many are using light security a 12-year-old could break. One company has hired Gunter to intentionally breech their network if he can “to show them where their vulnerabilities are,” he says.
Gunter intends to keep his company self-funded. He notes that the business is somewhat cyclical, better when companies do hardware and software buying early in the year and again just before budgets have to be spent at the end of the year.
Goose Creek: www.goosecreekcom.com