Broadband-Enable Your Car

Go on tour with these mobile broadband systems.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Now that cellular networks are starting to achieve broadband speeds in major markets, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the faster data speeds on their mobile phones. But there's no reason you need to be limited to your phone. Why not bring your laptop or PDA to the party? Assorted hardware devices let you capture data over broadband cellular connections.

For example, OmniWav Mobile's MBR-1100 is an in-vehicle system that lets you connect any Wi-Fi or Ethernet-enabled device to the internet. The vehicle broadband package costs $979, and the data service contract through Verizon Wireless is about $80 for unlimited use. Its range extends up to 300 feet, so you can still get online outside your car. A portable package version is also available so you can connect at your hotel, at a trade show or at a customer's site.

For a less expensive alternative, check out Novatel's Merlin V620 Wireless PC Card Modem, which runs about $100 with a service plan. It also works with Verizon's EV-DO network and will keep your laptop connected on the go. Generally, data speeds aren't quite up to your office broadband line, but they're sufficient for use on the road. Check provider websites to see if these services are available in your area yet. As broadband network rollouts continue, expect the number of similar solutions and providers to grow.

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