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Optical/IP

Junxion's Cell Through

Frequently, in the fast-moving wireless technology market, vendors will try and sell users the very latest and greatest technology to handle tasks that could be dealt with using networks and wireless offerings that already exist.

It's a trend that you can see over and over in the marketplace. The rush to deliver high-speed, "pre-802.11n" WiFi and WiMax broadband products -- arguably before the kit was really ready -- being just a couple of the most recent examples.

There are also companies, however, that are offering real, if unorthodox, solutions on the oozing edge. In this regard, Seattle-based startup Junxion Inc. is worth noting. The startup has released an enterprise infrastructure product, called the Junxion Box, which takes a connection from a cellular network and shares it amongst other devices using WiFi or Ethernet connections.

Junxion, which was started in September 2004 out of the ashes of wireless data operator Monet Mobile Networks, has been certified by both Cingular Wireless and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) for enterprise applications. The firm has also just scored an undisclosed amount of funding from Trilogy Equity Partners, a VC house with a long history of funding pioneer cellular companies.

Much of the chatter around the Junxion box has focused on its capabilities to enable users to set up mobile hotspots that can be used to get WiFi connections -- even when there is no wired network to connect the access point to.

John Daly, Junxion co-founder and VP of business development, thinks this is too narrow a focus, however. "The largest market opportunities for us do not involve WiFi at all," he tells Unstrung. Rather, the Junxion kit will be used by carriers for distinctly unsexy applications such as land-line replacement and failover along with telemetry.

The box is already being used for some other novel applications, such as allowing bus passengers to get connected while they are onboard. High-profile companies like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have had the box installed on their employee shuttles so that their peons can access email and other applications to and from work. Daly says that 20 transit companies are also using the box.

Corbin Gerard, principal at reseller Mobile ID Solutions, installed the Junxion box as part of a transit system for Yahoo. He says that the bandwidth offered over 3G cellular networks is prefectly adequate for the simple applications users want it for.

"For downloading email and a few Web pages it's fine, and some of these buses have 30 or 40 people on them," says Gerard.

Some common courtesy is required, though: "They know they can’t download 'Star Wars' because that would spoil it for everyone else," says Junxion's Daly.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

lrmobile_mmorrison 12/5/2012 | 3:53:50 AM
re: Junxion's Cell Through Sure, it's been out before everyone really had the same idea of adding a PCMCIA slot to a WiFi access point, and has had some success. But I cannot see it lasting.

Netgear has got its MBR814, and other companies such as Dovado and D-Link have announced similar products - with better WiFi features, support for more PC card modems, and in the case of the Dovado, built-in VoIP using standard landline handsets ala ATA devices. And the best thing: the price - Junxion's box is priced at about $700 from memory, whereas the new ones are targeted at around a couple of hundred dollars.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:53:42 AM
re: Junxion's Cell Through Thanks for the comments. The Junxion piece was written because they look like an interesting startup with some user traction. I'll certainly follow up and look at the other devices on the market.

So far we know that D-Link and Kyocera have product and Ericsson and Motorola are working on similar boxes. Do you know of any more I should check out?

Thanks
DJ
3G-Dealer 12/5/2012 | 3:53:42 AM
re: Junxion's Cell Through Yes, you bring up some good points. I am not sure why Junxion is actually getting all this press when the Kyocera KR1 has a much more feature rich product and over half the price (about $250 street price). The Kyocera box is made in partnership with D-Link. Plus, Linksys-Cisco has a new 3G router box that has more features than the Junxion and is very similar to the KR1 for $199. I also saw a beta box from Motorola in a recent PC Magazine

I have worked with the Kyocera KR1 box and I am very impressed with it. I have not tried the Junxion box, but I have read a lot about it on their website. Perhaps its just with new technology like this, that I like to go with the big name players like Kyocera, D-Link, etc... especially considering the big guys are significantly cheaper for a more feature rich product. Now how often does that happen? Normally, I have to pay a lot more for a big name product.

John Daly 12/5/2012 | 3:53:00 AM
re: Junxion's Cell Through Hi, perhaps this will help shed some light on the actualy story about Junxion's position in the US market.

Why Junxion? Just ask Sprint and Cingular product marketing/offer teams.

Sprint has approved Linksys/Kyocera primarily to address consumer/SOHO and less sophisticated applications, and Juxion (see www.junxion.com/sprintcertific... as the flexible, upgradeable, low total cost, enterprise-grade solution for large deployments. At Sprint's CTIA booth visitors were greeted by both Linksys and Junxion WWAN routers (Kyocera was noticeably absent); Linksys for consumer/SOHO landline replacement and mobile hotspots, Junxion for a broad array of soluton categories that are not competitively addressable by Linksys/Kyocera (see www.junxion.com/solution/#cate.... If you were to visit one of Sprint's Executive Briefing Centers where they exhibit cutting-edge technologies to their VIP customers, you will see a demonstration of the Junxion Box providing connectivity for remote IP video cameras (more flexible, upgradeable, easier to use, lower total cost than alternatives like AirLink or Digi). See our recent newsletter at www.junxion.com/news where the Dallas Police Department provides a "customer report card" on just such a Junxion deployment (they evaluated other solutions such as Kyocera and Digi before choosing Junxion).

Cingular certified Junxion back in Spring 2005 (www.junxion.com/cingularcertif..., and we are working directly with their sales/marketing teams to help them boost sales of WWAN services with Junxion.

As you might expect from two of the three largest US wireless carriers, Cingular and Sprint rigorously evaluated all available OEM's at both the product and company level, and both approved Junxion.

Some of the features that differentiate Junxion are obvious, like a remote management tool (developed with Sprint/Cingular team support) that is notably easier, with more relevant functionality, and at lower total cost than enterprise-grade alternatives (see www.junxion.com/fieldcommander..., and military-grade durability when coupled with a mounting bracket for fixed or mobile applications (www.junxion.com/bracket). Some features are not as obvious to industry afficionados who are not familiar with the practical benefits of features like onboard VPN, IP passthrough, and flexible multi-carrier support in the context of *specific WWAN applictions Junxion is addressing with our carrier partners* (primarily landline replacement, landline back-up, telemetry, mobile, remote security, etc. with our non-WiFi model JB-110b).

We don't expect most of the industry audience to uderstand what is occuring behind the scenes here at Junxion with Sprint and Cingular. And unfortunately we don't have the resources provide education and rebuttal to all. At the same time, Junxion's 600+ enterprise/government customers and carrier partners continue to verify our position in the market. Broader awareness will come as our carrier partners begin to publicly promote Junxion case studies.

Another factoid that we don't expect the market at large to know about: both carriers chose Junxion in part because they explicitly sought us to perform a "nimble co-development partner" role that other OEM's can't/won't. We were literally tested by one of the carriers for this capability. Junxion has been developing and regularly releasing firmware features in response to requests by our carrier partners and their customers in context of large enterprise WWAN deployments. We also have a completely new hardware v2 coming out before the end of 2006; the functional specs were driven by what we've learned from real-world carrier and customer deployments that aren't yet on the radar of conventional industry media, bloggers and analysts.

Check out the latest Junxion Box features: www.junxion.com/product

Cheers,
John
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