Linksys 802.11g EV-DO Router, Image Courtesy of
Its a wireless hot spot on the go

Sprint and Linksys announced last week that the cellular service providers will be selling the EV-DO capable Linksys Wireless G Router for Mobile Broadband (WRT54G3G-NA) which will allow Sprint's Power Vision EV-DO cellular wireless internet access cards to operate with the router where Sprint cellular service is available.

EV-DO, or Evolution Data Only/Optimized, is a 3G cellular data technology part of the CDMA2000 wireless standard which allows subscribers to take their own internet hot spot wherever they go as long as they are within range of a cellular network and at broadband speeds comparable to 1.5Mb/sec speeds.

According to PCMagazine, Sprint will begin shipping the Linksys EV-DO capable routers during the second half of this year to accompany their mobile broadband service, however, the cellular provider currently offers EV-DO access cards for notebooks and tiered data plans between $39.99-$79.99/month depending on required usage.  Verizon Wireless charges approximately $45 for existing data services that can burst around 1.5Mb/s in some cities right now.

Here are some technical specifications from Linksys about the WRT54G3G:
  • 16/32 bit PCMCIA slot WAN interface for Mobile Broadband connection/EV-DO PC Card with hot insertion protection
  • EV-DO connect/disconnect button
  • 10/100 WAN interface and 4-port switch with auto MDIX
  • Integrated 802.11b/g wireless access point with detachable antenna
  • Static and Dynamic router
  • Supports UPnP
  • Configurable through connected PC's web browser
  • Security: Internet Access restriction, SPI Firewall, supports VPN pass-through with IPSec and PPTP
  • Kensington lock
  • Supports Network Time Protocol for synchronizing with a real-time server
Rumors say there are a handful of other devices on the horizon which are expected to feature EV-DO support including the upcoming Treo series as well as a few new Dell laptop models which were announced at the end of March. Currently, Linksys says the EV-DO capable router will launch with a retail price of $199.

Linksys started out as a privately held company known as The Linksys Group which manufactured and marketed home networking equipment prior to being acquired by Cisco Systems, a networking leader in the enterprise domain, in June 2003.

Other cellular providers, such as Verizon are also offering similar services and should be interesting to see how quickly this technology is adopted and improved in the next few years among the competing providers. Sprint has already planned on launching services based on 4G standards in the near future. We can't wait to see what our cellular providers will have to offer!

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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