By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
MoGo Wireless last week relaunched its line of intelligent signal-strength amplifiers for cellular phones under the new name Cell Ranger at CTIA 2008, here.
The revamped line includes two products that boost cellular signal strength: the Cell Ranger STIX, powered by a standard automotive 12-volt power supply, and the Cell Ranger Port, powered by a computer's USB port.
Neither product requires physical connection to the PC or pairing with the phone. Users plug the Cell Ranger unit into the power source and position the magnetic antenna. The Cell Ranger then automatically detects the closest handset. It can be used by multiple handsets simultaneously. It does not require software or drivers.
Port users with broadband cellular air cards also experience increased data rates and signal reliability, according to MoGo.
Cell Ranger is compatible with handsets offered by all U.S. service providers operating on the 800 and 1,900 MHz frequencies including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Alltel and U.S. Cellular, MoGo said. It is also compatible with Bluetooth and GPS devices.
The products will be distributed at major retailers and electronics stores with a suggested retail of $149.
In addition to the Cell Ranger products, the company unveiled two upcoming line extensions at the show last week. Scheduled for a third-quarter launch is a universal charger capable of charging most 5V devices including mobile phones, iPods, MP3 players, digital cameras, camcorders, PDAs and Sony PlayStation Portables. Scheduled for a fourth-quarter launch is a home and small-office version of Cell Ranger that will offer an AC-powered modular format. Retail pricing will be announced at a later date.
Also at CTIA, Wilson Electronics showed the latest addition to its broad line of cellular signal improvement products: the SignalBoost Mobile Professional cellular signal amplifier. Designed for mobile professionals, the multipurpose signal booster features small form factor, a built-in antenna and a portable magnet-mount antenna that mounts to any metal surface or to a window using an included suction-cup bracket.
Packaged as a plug-and-play kit, the SignalBoost Mobile Professional can be powered by a computer USB port, a vehicle cigarette lighter adapter or an optional AC outlet. The amp boosts cellular signals both to and from the cell site and will enhance cellphone and data card performance in vehicles, airports, hotel rooms, offices and other remote locations, the company said.
Wilson claims the amplifiers provides three times more power than a typical cellphone while protecting carrier cell sites from interference. It supports multiple cellphones and laptop air cards simultaneously.
For the car, Wilson introduced the SignalBoost Mini-Amp Kit. Designed for use any vehicle or boat, this plug-and-play kit reduces dropped calls, extends signal range, and increases data rates for all Cellular and PCS carriers. It also supports multiple cellphones and cellular data cards simultaneously, installs in minutes and can be moved easily between vehicles, said the company.
According to Wilson, at the heart of the Mini-Amp kit is the company's newest cellular signal booster, a lightweight amplifier with up to six times more power than a typical cellphone.
The Mini-Amp may be installed under a vehicle seat or on the console and features two internal amplifiers to boost cellular signals both to and from the cell site. A magnet-base external antenna attaches to the roof and communicates with the cell site.
Wilson is also offering separately the Cell Phone Cradle Plus that completes the system by adding a built-in antenna that re-broadcasts the amplified signal inside the vehicle. It also provides a convenient location for the cellphone and works with any hands-free device including Bluetooth products and ear buds, the company said.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.