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Tech Product Roundup

Red is the new BlackBerry, muni mesh gets clearer, and faster backhaul is promised in this week's new product roundup.

Better red than... A red BlackBerry? Don't worry, it's not a genetic mutation. It's just the fetching new BlackBerry Pearl phone from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)

The wireless operator formerly known as Cingular already launched a version of the popular smartphone back in November. The profusion of different colored versions of popular phones -- like the RAZR -- now available indicates, however, that there is a market out there for phones of a different hue. (See Cingular Launches RIM.)

These phones of many colors could mean more revenue for RIM. The firm reported that its sales were up 49 percent year-on-year for the quarter ended December 2, 2006, thanks in large part to the Pearl.

Evidently red is in this season at AT&T. The number one wireless operator in the U.S. has also introduced a red Palm Inc. Treo 680.

I can see muni now: Mesh networking startup Tropos Networks Inc. has updated its mesh networking operating system in anticipation of more large operators getting into the municipal networking game.

Tropos claims that large carriers, as opposed to smaller wireless ISPs, are now getting more involved in running citywide mesh networks. For instance, Tropos supplies EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK) with much of the mesh kit behind its network in San Francisco and other cities.

Hence the unveiling of new Tropos OS 6. The company has added features giving operators many ways to control the amount of bandwidth available to each individual, such as rate-limiting data streams at the edge of the network. This means that operators can better ensure decent performance across the network, allowing them to offer service level agreements to users who pony up the extra cash.

Backhaul the dragon: RF mavens DragonWave Inc. (AIM/Toronto: DWI; Nasdaq: DRWI) are plotting faster compact backhaul systems to enable wireless systems such as WiMax to reach their full potential.

The firm has put together wireless indoor and outdoor units in a single Gigabit Ethernet microwave transmission system with a claimed 800-Mbit/s full duplex capacity. The Canadian firm, which has just filed for an IPO, says the new product will lower capital and operational costs for carriers looking at broadband services.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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