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Lakeland’s Wind Talker software company run by veterans

LAKELAND – From an Afghan refugee camp in Virginia to the Alaskan tundra, Wind Talker Innovations Inc. in Lakeland has been working to improve data communications in faraway places since 2016.

Created by former Air Force combat leaders who learned to outsmart enemy radio and data jamming tactics in combat zones, software company Florida Avenue caters to commercial and government customers with need his expertise.

The company says its software provides seamless device-to-device communications without the need for cell phone towers, even in the most remote locations. Wind Talker says it offers secure communications to customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, Native American tribal nations, and people living in underfunded and underserved areas.

The company’s main office in Lakeland is headed by military veteran Ryan Luther, Wind Talker’s co-founder and chief technology officer and president of government operations. He oversees the development and integration of the Osmosis network into government operations.

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“Data communications in the commercial sector have very similar problems to those we have had in the military,” Luther said in a telephone interview Tuesday. He explained that the software company does not have an app to download to cellphones or even cars, trains or airplanes.

“We will be the connective tissue to bring it all together,” he said.

Luther said it all started when he and his co-founder Matt Perdew, a disabled Air Force veteran, had a frustrating ordeal with Wi-Fi on a commercial airline flight.

Ryan Luther co-founded Wind Talker Innovations, a Lakeland-based software development company for data communications.

Luther said Wind Talker’s product is a Software Development Toolkit, or SDK, a set of software tools and programs that developers can use to build applications for specific platforms. Wind Talker provides its SDKs to help developers integrate their applications with their services.

Luther has spent more than 20 years in the US Air Force building teams and mission systems and integrating capabilities into combat operations around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. He compared himself to a quarterback in a football game, executing battle plans provided by his senior officers from a seat in a Boeing E 3 Sentry, which provides troops on the battlefield with alert communications early airborne. The aircraft can be commonly identified by its large, saucer-shaped disc attached to its fuselage.

After returning home, he was deployed to oversee Air National Guard air defense west of the Mississippi until he co-founded Wind Talker.

Wind Talker recently helped the Department of Defense respond to Afghan refugees at Camp Upshur in Quantico, Va., He said.

“Within two days of deploying our Osmosis-enabled equipment with a major telecommunications company, Wind Talker helped build a mesh network that provides high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity to Afghan asylum seekers,” a- he declared.

As of mid-October, the network had been running for more than 40 days and had just transmitted 2.5 terabytes of data, according to a company statement.

Additionally, many Native American tribal lands do not have internet service. More than seven in ten residents living on tribal lands still do not have access to fixed broadband internet, a spokesperson for the company said.

“Our goal is to provide Osmosis powered broadband to allow internet access to those without connectivity,” she said. “We are currently working with the tribal chiefs to get the contracts approved, but the details are still on the table.”

Wind Talker has 40 employees, including 18 military veterans, working out of offices in three states, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Tacoma, WA, West Coast to Florida, with its largest office in Lakeland – the center of the company for its engineers.

Perdew runs the Anchorage office.

Luther noted that the company is hiring interns and students from Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland. In the future, he wants to work on making Lakeland a smart city, with high-speed wireless internet throughout the city center.

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