A 250 euros starting capital. That was all Philip Vercruysse needed to launch Entropia [12/12/2016]
Philip Vercruysse has communication in his blood. "In 1962 my parents developed the very first car phone in Belgium, with King Baudouin as a client. That was the beginning of my fascination with radio communications. It was a hobby, which soon developed into a passion. And that is still the case today."
In 1990, that passion was crystallized into my own company: Entropia Critical Concepts. "I started on my own, with a 250 euros starting capital. The rest I borrowed and I also reinvested all earnings. My aim was to develop telecommunication networks in various countries that are independent from public mobile networks. Today, we have the largest independant commercial radio network and we offer mission critical professional telecom services in Belgium, the Netherlands and soon also in the United Kingdom. On 22 March, the tragic day of the terror attacks in Brussels, our network was in fact the only one that remained operational."
The idea of setting up a mobile telecom network for mission critical professional users came from Vercruysse himself. "I was inspired by companies that developed GSM networks. They showed me how not to do things in times of calamity. There is one golden rule, we need to get the technical part right before it be marketed." Soon enough, he had landed 2 large deals: "In Africa, we developed a radio network for the United Nations, and in the Brussels-Capital Region, one for the police services, with more than 4000 connections. Later, we withdrew from the African market, so as to be able to focus entirely on the European market, which offers much more stability.
Today, we could not imagine doing without sensors and telemetry: without realizing it, our radio network had proven to be particularly suited for measuring (underground) water levels, electricity and gas consumption, parking meters, road signs for public transport, etc. Entropia offers very high availability on its radio networks (higher than any other network), and today our coverage has reached almost 60.000 km², while others are still experimenting!"
Their software platform, ComBus Technologies, developed into a platform in the (secure) 'cloud'. "This is our pride and joy: a platform developed in-house that displays sensors and mission critical communications on one or more graphic screens. Tender specifications already often include the statement that equipment must meet ComBus® requirements. It is really satisfying to see the platform you devloped being used as a mandatory criterion in tender specifications."