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CTIA roundup: New products for unwiring work and life

John Cox | May 29, 2013
Tiny Bluetooth trackers, rugged Android, protecting Wi-Fi outside.

The CAT B15 is priced at $349 unlocked and will be available in July. Bullis says they are in talks with carriers and will announce partners later.

Easy exterior Wi-Fi
Ventev Wireless Infrastructure unveiled waterproof, rugged polycarbonate enclosures into which hotspot owners and enterprises can plug their standard indoor Wi-Fi access points. The idea: Take what you have and know, and quickly extend your Wi-Fi network in outdoor areas, without the need for a separate class of higher-priced access points or for a separate management system.

Everything is built in: You mount the enclosure, slot in the indoor access point, then run an Ethernet cable to it. If you have Power-over-Ethernet, there's no need for separate power connections. There are optional companion PoE and AC power units, and a battery-powered backup power system. With integrated antenna, the base enclosure is $2,300.

The second product is a bit more specialized. It's a self-contained, portable Wi-Fi hotspot enclosure. Plug in up to four WLAN access points, with one acting as a dedicated mesh network connection for backhauling wireless traffic. There's a selection of external antenna options. The unit can be lugged from site to site to quickly set up a Wi-Fi hotspot for first responders, medical staff, or for outdoor sports venues and the like.

The base unit is $4,000, with the access points separately priced. The customer has to supply an AC power connection, and provision the WLAN.

Pricing is more expensive than most indoor WLAN access points, but cheaper than many access points designed for outdoor use, according to Ventev. All the units meet specific rugged standards, with surge and lightning protection, cooling fans, and a heater for cold weather.


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