Motorola today announced the launch of the WDE1000, which the vendor giant touts as the first 2.4 GHz and 4.9 GHz dual-band Wi-Fi card for muncipalwide and ad-hoc connectivity.

Although part of Motorola’s MotoMesh portfolio, the WDE1000 dual-band card is a standards-based product that can be used with any 802.11b/g network, said Rick Rotondo, director of marketing for Motorola’s mesh-networks product group. The card’s unique antenna design creates 18 dBm of gain at 2.4 GHz and 20 dBm at 4.9 GHz, he said.

“We wanted something that provided a more robust connection, a wider coverage area and the ability to support mobility better,” Rotondo said.

Rotondo said the WDE1000 card will work better in a mobile environment than a typical Wi-Fi card but not as well as Motorola products using the company’s proprietary MEA technology, which is optimized for high-speed mobility. However, the maximum data throughputs achieved with Motorola’s standards-based solution are greater than those associated with the MEA products, he said.

Other features of the dual-band card are its ability to work in extreme temperature environments—from minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit) to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit)—and its ability to support encryption schemes such as AES, Rotondo said. An antenna port on the card allows a cable connection to an external antenna, and the 4.9 GHz radio in the card can be configured to work 5 MHz, 10 MHz or 20 MHz channels, he said.

Commercially available today, the WDE1000 card has been beta tested in Tulsa, Okla.

“Motorola's Wi-Fi card has tremendous 802.11 range, and will allow us to stay connected while on patrol," Tom Vallely, police department corporal for the City of Tulsa, said in a statement. "It will allow us to tap into mission-critical, high bandwidth applications, turning patrol cars into mobile offices."