Las Vegas - Wilson Electronics of St. George, Utah, is traveling to next week's International CTIA Wireless 2010 with its latest in-vehicle cellular-signal booster, the Sleek.
Expected to ship around mid-April to early May at an expected retail of about $129, the Sleek amplifies the signal of any 850/1900MHz cellphone placed in its universal cradle, which features a flexible holding mechanism that accommodates any shape phone. An amplified cellular transceiver embedded in the device's cradle wirelessly amplifies the phone's signal to 1.82 watts, making a wired connection to the amplifier unnecessary. The cradle connects to a magnet-mount antenna on the vehicle's roof and gets power from the vehicle's cigarette lighter.
For the phone's signal to be amplified, the phone must remain in the cradle, but drivers can use the phone's speakerphone capability or Bluetooth to send and receive calls. The cradle also incorporates a charger that connects via cable to a phone's USB charging port via a choice of supplied cables.
The Sleek will follow the fall 2009 launch of another universal in-vehicle signal booster, the U-Booster, which is available at $180 to $200 to amplify the signals of multiple cellphones up to two feet away inside the vehicle, a spokesman said. The U-Booster is larger and amplifies output up to 2 watts.
Wilson offers other in-vehicle boosters designed specifically to accommodate specific phones models. One booster is shaped to hold the iPhone, and another holds specific models of the BlackBerry Curve.
Like the Sleek, multiple Wilson models are designed to work with CDMA and GSM phones in both the 850MHz and 1900MHz bands. Wilson also offers models designed to work only with iDEN-network phones.