Wilson Electronics unveils cellular LTE signal booster
Wilson Electronics has a jump on the impending wave of CES 2012 product announcements, by introducing its Sleek 4G-V signal booster prior to next week’s show. Designed to work as an in-car/in-building cradle (the later requiring an optional accessory pack) for wireless handsets, the Sleek 4G-V boosts all LTE, 3G and 2G cellular signals on 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 1900 MHz frequency bands.
“The Sleek 4G-V fills a real gap in the wireless market,” said Laine Matthews, Wilson Electronics’ director of business development. “We see it finding wide acceptance among consumers and professionals who need coverage in fringe areas, such as fire, police, EMS and utilities.”
According to company documents, the Sleek 4G-V provides more than 20 times more reception/transmission power than a cell phone on its own. It weighs three ounces, measures 2.5 by 4.5 by 2.5 inches, is designed to be consumer-installable. Matthews said that the system uses a rooftop magnetic antenna that is connected by wire to the in-car cradle. Power comes from the vehicle’s 12VDC cigarette lighter.
The Sleek 4G-V is targeted at all 2G/3G users, plus Verizon LTE customers using LTE band 13. The company plans to come out with similar versions for carriers who use other LTE bands, such as AT&T, in the months to come. Whatever the transmission and spectrum selected, the Sleek 4G-V should give users far better coverage with fewer dropped connections and no-service “dead zones,” faster data transfer rates and improved battery life for wireless devices. As such, this signal booster will likely find favor with first responders in remote areas.
The release of the Sleek 4G-V comes just months after Wilson and Verizon Wireless made a joint submission to the FCC, regarding tech specs for consumer cellular signal boosters. Although Wilson has maintained a “close relationship” with Verizon since that time, Matthews said, this product was not designed in collaboration with the wireless carrier.
This said, the Sleek 4G-V is designed to fall within the suggested Wilson/Verizon signal booster guidelines. But this fact is not unique in itself, Matthews said: All of Wilson’s signal boosters are designed to meet these standards.
Wilson Electronics released the Sleek 4G-V now to create some media buzz before the annual CES saturation hits. “The amount of people who know about this product is extremely low,” Matthews said.
Wilson resellers will start stocking the Sleek 4G-V in the second quarter of 2012, and the MSRP is $149.95. It is meant for hands-free use, ideally with a Bluetooth headset.