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Monday, April 25, 2011

AT&T starts selling ‘cell tower in a suitcase’

For the first time, AT&T is selling small, portable cellular antennas that will allow corporate and government customers to provide their own wireless coverage in remote or disaster-struck areas.

Usually, cellphone companies have to restore service after disasters like hurricanes by sending in their own trucks that act like mobile cell towers.  But AT&T’s new product would let first responders such as police and emergency workers immediately control where they have coverage.

One of AT&T’s options is a unit that packs into a suitcase, with a satellite dish carried separately.  The Remote Mobility Zone can handle 14 simultaneous calls, and data at less-than-broadband speeds.
The cost of the units will range from $15,000 to $45,000, AT&T said Monday, plus some monthly fees.

Like other carriers, AT&T also sells “femtocells,” even smaller cellular antennas that users can place indoors.

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_260809/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=wGBw0elc

Posted on 04/25
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