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Visualize WiFi & Other Cool Stuff

When Is a Cellphone Not a Phone? When it's Novatel Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: NVTL)'s new Ovation MCD3000 3G console. The vendor says that this cellphone-sized device is intended to enable enterprise users to access multimedia services via high-speed cellular networks through their desktops or laptop computers as an alternative to wired networks.

So far the device, which is due out later this year, supports CDMA EV-DO Revision A networks, which offer maximum data transfer speeds of 3 Mbit/s a second. The first Rev A services in the U.S. are due to come online at the end of this year. Novatel says that it will also support earlier 3G CDMA variants and new technologies like mobile WiMax and 802.20 over time. (See Sprint & Verizon Push 3G.)

The console is part of a small -- but growing -- trend towards small "personal" cellular transceivers. Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) have both been talking up the prospects for such consoles as more data-intensive services are developed for the humble cellular user. (See Ericsson Mini-Me.)

Jacked Up: Danish device maker RTX Wireless Technology has introduced a new phone jack that it says will make any deskphone, office printer, set-top box, or fax a wireless devices. Perhaps most interesting for business customers, however, is the fact that it can be used with VOIP adapters to deliver packetized voice up to 50 meters away.

The system uses a technology that some readers may have thought was past its sell-by date -- DECT. The 2.4GHz Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications standard preceded such wireless technologies as WiFi and Bluetooth, but mostly hasn't found an application outside of cordless phones. RTX says it has adapted the technology to work with VOIP software.

I Can See Clearly: Security startup WildPackets Inc. is the latest firm its niche to upgrade its portable spectrum analyzer. The OmniSpectrum v3.0 spits out new graphical displays about channel usage, noise, and interference that beef up the charts and graphical plots offered in earlier releases.

Administrators, the firm says, can see which channels are over-burdened, and by what devices, whether the interference sources are 802.11 or non-802.11 devices. The software will also display just how much signal each access point in the network is pumping out.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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