British antenna expert firm Deltenna has launched the WiBE wireless broadband device which the firm claims is able to deliver fast broadband to rural areas far from a phone exchange.
The WiBE operates in a similar fashion to the MiFi portable hotspots, connecting to a 3G data connection and then offering the connection to local client computer systems via a Wi-Fi access point. The unique aspect of the WiBE comes with the special attention given to receiving weak 3G signals via internal multi-beam ‘smart antennas.’
Such is the capability of the WiBE to pick up signals that Deltenna claims the device can pick up a 3G mobile network when mobile phones, dongles and MiFi devices don’t register a signal at all. The company said that independent tests showed that the device had been found to deliver up to 30-times greater bandwidth than a 3G USB dongle and a connection range between three and five times greater.
Good news for those living in rural areas where wired broadband is piped dream and 3G signal is patchy at best. In such conditions the WiBE aims to deliver a typical download speed of 2.8Mbps and up to 7.2Mbps maximum. The device tests each mobile cell in range and configures the antennas to deliver the best possible connection while rejecting interference.
It seems the WiBE is to be offered mainly through partners rather than a standalone retail product. Deltenna said the first company to offer the WiBE in the UK is Buzz Networks, bundling the device on a VoIP service and rebranding the WiBE as the Hubb for a whopping £425.
Cetag Systems will offer the WiBE in Ireland and further network operators are conducting trials the company said.