By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Wi-Ex has begun shipping what it called the industry's first in-door cellular-signal booster to operate in both the 800MHz and 1900MHs bands so it can be used with any U.S. carriers' phones but Nextel-network phones.
The $399-suggested zBoost Dual Band will be displayed at next month's CES at the D&H Distributing booth.
The device can be used with the phones of two-band carriers that use either the 1,900MHz or 800MHz band depending on geographic market. In some cases, carriers hand off their signals from the 800MHz to 1,900MHz bands and vice versa depending on signal strength. In addition, Wi-Ex said, some phones use one frequency for voice and the other for data.
zBoost increases indoor cell signal coverage up to 2,500 square feet to lower the incidence of dropped or missed calls from interior locations where cellular signals might not be reliable. The improved coverage also extends a phone's battery life. The signals of multiple phones can be boosted simultaneously.
The company, which already offers single-band versions of the device, has begun selling through RadioShack.com, Smarthome.com, Frys.com, TigerDirect.com and SolidSignal.com. Wi-Ex also uses distributors such as D&H, Aries, Petra and TAG.
The desktop package unit includes an antenna, base unit, co-ax cable and mounting bracket. The antenna may be installed inside, near a window, or any place that there is a strong cellphone signal. For best reception, the antenna can be installed in the attic or outside.
We see this as one more step closer to helping people replace landlines," said Wi-Ex president/CEO Lloyd Meese. "We have noted that on some new communications devices, carriers may use one frequency for voice and another for data. This product also works with those newer devices and their carriers. In addition, like all of our products it has patent-pending technologies that protect the carrier network."
He also noted that "it addresses the issue that some carriers bounce from 800 MHz to 1,900 MHz depending upon the signal strength. So a customer can buy this unit and be covered either way."
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