A NEW PRODUCT FROM TOP GLOBAL JUST MAY be the breakthrough wireless device home builders have been looking for.
Alan Zhou, the Irvine, Calif.–based company's founder and chief technology officer, says Top Global's MobileBridge simply plugs into a generator and then connects users to local wireless towers via an EvDO (evolution data only/evolution data optimized) network. Zhou says builders can also get coverage in their cars and trucks by powering MobileBridge through the vehicle's cigarette lighter.
MobileBridge costs $699, plus $59.99 a month for EvDO service through Verizon or Sprint. The carriers have spent billions to upgrade their wireless networks to offer greater coverage and faster data rates.
MobileBridge delivers coverage of 200 feet to 1,000 feet and an average bandwidth of 500 kilobits per second (Kbps) to 1 megabit per second. This is a significant difference over older wireless networks that delivered roughly 70 Kbps.
“The bandwidth is more like DSL or cable speeds,” says Zhou, who adds that home builders such as D.R. Horton, Lennar, and Shea Homes have been testing the product throughout much of this year in their trailers and sales offices. The builders are using the wireless coverage mainly for Internet access, sharing printers, and running handheld applications. MobileBridge also supports voice over Internet protocol, so builders can use the device for voice service.
For more information about MobileBridge, visit www.topglobalusa.com.